Construction Begins on Women's Plaza of Honor

Lori Harwood
Nov. 23, 2004


President Peter Likins and others will enthusiastically lift their shovels at the groundbreaking for the Women's Plaza of Honor Wednesday, Dec. 8, 4 p.m., at the Plaza's site in the area west of Centennial Hall and east of the Arizona State Museum.

This project was named by President Likins as one of his priorities for completion by 2005 and he has chosen to honor his wife, Patricia, with a bench.

The Plaza will honor only women, a unique concept in both Arizona and in this country. Its innovative and thoughtful design symbolizes the three stages of a woman's life – youth, maturity and reflection.

The Women's Plaza of Honor will publicly and permanently celebrate women who have made significant contributions to the history of Arizona as well as honor present day women who have enriched the lives of others – our mothers, sisters and friends.

The Women's Plaza of Honor will be a warm, inviting and meditative gathering place. A combination of plants, lighting and water will intermingle with archways, benches and sculptures to represent the stages of a woman's life. Each element will honor specific women whose picture and story can be electronically accessed on site. There are a variety of naming opportunities available within the Plaza.

The Women's Plaza of Honor, sponsored by the Women's Studies Advisory Council (WOSAC), will create an endowment to support the women studies department through student and faculty scholarships and stipends and underwriting for other academic projects. The Plaza's leadership team of University and community women have set the goal of raising $1.5 million to fund both the endowment and construction costs for the Plaza.

The interest from the endowment will fund three priorities: 1) support undergraduate and graduate assistantships, research and travel stipends to further faculty and student scholarship; 2) the enhancement Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and other Southwest Institute for Research on Women (SIROW) projects; and 3) visits by leading scholars to teach women's studies.

The Plaza's design emerged in 2000 from the volunteered collaboration of four women landscape architects – Liba Wheat, Lori Woods, Margaret West and Karen Cesare - all graduates of the University of Arizona. The firm of WheatScharf Associates is working together with Sletten Construction to build the Plaza which will be completed in time for Mother's Day, 2005.

If you have further questions or care to make a donation, please call Molly Holleran in Women's Studies at 626-0656 or Ginny Healy at 621-3938.

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