Honoring Mothers Permanently and Publicly

Sharon Kha
May 5, 2004

The University of Arizona has made it possible to honor mothers and other women whose lives are memorable permanently and publicly by having their names inscribed in the Women's Plaza of Honor on the UA campus.

"It's like a perpetual Mother's Day, and you don't even have to be a mother to be included!" said Margy McGonagill, one of the six co-chairs for the project.

The Women's Plaza of Honor will be located between Centennial Hall and the Arizona State Museum. It will be a warm, inviting meditative place where every archway, bench, tile and tree will honor a woman. The plaza will celebrate women who have made significant contributions to the history of Arizona or whose lives have enriched the lives of others.

"When it comes to historical monuments, women are largely overlooked," said Peter Likins, president of the University of Arizona. "The Women's Plaza of Honor is one of the few places in the United States that specifically honors the accomplishments of women."

In addition to honoring women, donations to the Plaza will fund an endowment for women's studies. The interest from the endowment will fund three priorities:

  • Undergraduate and graduate assistantships and research and travel stipends to further faculty and student scholarship

  • The enhancement of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) and other projects of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women

  • Visits by leading scholars to teach women's studies

Three extraordinary women - Edith Auslander, Esther Capin and Judy Gignac - will talk about what it was like to be among the first women to be named to the state-wide Arizona Board of Regents. They will address a luncheon sponsored by the University of Arizona women's studies department in support of the Women's Plaza of Honor on Tuesday, May 11, at noon at the Arizona Inn.

Women's studies has raised almost half of their $2 million goal, primarily through large gifts. Now that construction is about to begin, opportunities for public participation will be announced at the Extraordinary Women luncheon. Bricks and leaf-shaped tiles with women's names inscribed on them will be available for $250-$1,000, as well as larger items such as benches and garden areas.

"This Mother's Day, many people bought their mothers gifts to honor them," said McGonagill. "The Women's Plaza of Honor is an opportunity to acknowledge the incredible accomplishments of all women in a way that will last forever."

For more information on honoring someone in the Women's Plaza of Honor, contact Ginny Healy at the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 520-621-3938 or e-mail ghealy@email.arizona.edu


Resources for the media

Sharon Kha
Assoc. VP communications
Ginny Healy
College of Social/Behavioral Sciences