I was reading up on the phrase Alma Mater recently. Alma Mater above welcomes students at the University of Havana, which I pulled from Wikipedia.
It was fascinating to discover that personifications of Alma Mater that have been built everywhere from Havana to the University of Illinois, Columbia, and Yale.
It would be great to see Penn State erect her own personified Alma Mater at some point in the years to come. It would make a great Senior Class Gift as a lasting symbol of the university as the “mother” and source of learning. And frankly it would liven up a campus largely devoid of any monumental-style statuary. Those by their nature tend to be distinctive landmarks. I also have this dream of another series of statues for Penn State that I’ll write more about at some point.
The statue of Alma Mater at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign bears the following inscription on its pedestal:
To Thy Happy Children
Of The Future
Those Of The Past
What a good encapsulation of everything a place of learning exists to achieve—bringing the reality and wisdom of the past alive in the present, so it can do the same for the future.