Alma Mater Sculpture Moved on the U of I Campus (1962)


For still another landmark it was time
to move. The Alma Mater statue had recited behind the auditorium on a the South quadrangle for over 30 years to be seen only by
pranksters would come to adorn her with paint. The Alumni Association suggested to the Board of Trustees who authorized the move that the University’s most elegant lady
should be more prominently displayed. Paul Bresee, 1923, treasurer of the Association and executive director
Gene Vance, 1947, supervised the operation seeing to it that she was comfortable in her rope halter with nary a hair must on her lovely head. Alma Mater’s adventure was about to begin. Alma Mater was sculpted by the late
Lorado Taft, was graduated in 1879 and was presented to the University by
alumni on June 13, 1922 with this inscription, “To thy happy children of the future, those of the past send greetings.” Well, not all the children were happy. A few
were concerned the lady’s’ composure would be disturbed by the traffic, noise and general hubbub of the new location. Their fears however proved to be
unfounded. She had brought her 41 years of
serenity with her and was prepared to nestle down
between the Illini Union and Altgeld Hall on the same granite base from which she had been lifted. A web of new sidewalks around her, the lady was receiving once more.

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