Tuesday, July 1, 2008

11. U of I Alma Mater sculpture

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At the heart of University of Illinois stands the Alma Mater sculpture, giving a warm welcome to the students, and alumni. This statue is often used as a symbol of the University. Well, after the departure of the Chief Illiniwek symbol, I guess this will become more widely used to represent the school.

The statue is located at the corner of Wright and Green, right at the border of Champaign and Urbana. Almost every other day, a news van would be there, and some reporter talking about a UofI story will give a live report from there.

The statue shows three women, standing on a Granite pedestal. There are two inscriptions in the base of the statue, that read "To thy happy children of the future, those of the past send greetings" and "Her children arise up and call her Blessed" Proverbs 31-28.

The designer of the statue was Lorado Taft. The original idea of the statue was conceived in 1922. Those ideas and designs were materialized in 1929. At that time, the the American Art Bronze Foundry was commissioned to caste the bronze statue. The alumni fund and the classes of 1923-1929 paid for it.

The original location of the statue was behind Foelinger Auditorium. However, to move it to a more prominent location, the Alumni Association moved it to the current location on August 22, 1962.

The statue is featured in the new I-card of UofI.

[Info and image source: Wikipedia, used under CC/GFDL]