“Aspiration” sculpture added on north quad near State Farm

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Nunzia Martino, News Editor

Illinois Wesleyan’s newest water feature is in the process of being installed.

According to President Wilson, administration decided to turn the area north of State Farm Hall into a new quadrangle, and this led to the development of the newest feature.

“We focused our attention initially on closing a section of Beecher Street and creating an attractive boardwalk and landscaped area. It then occurred to me that a sculpture of some kind in the center of the quadrangle would be a great addition, particularly if it involved water,” Wilson said.

The sculpture, made of stainless steel and standing twelve feet tall, is a donation made by alumni and was designed by England-based artist Giles Rayner.

“We sent [Rayner] some information on the campus, some pictures of the surrounding building, some thoughts on our mission and what the sculpture might represent, and we invited him to submit a few ideas for us to consider,” Wilson said.

Campus administrators looked over Rayner’s proposals, including the Director of the School of Art, the President of the Student Senate and a donor family, according to Wilson.

Wilson says that the title of the sculpture is called “Aspiration,” and it represents Illinois Wesleyan’s mission: “to challenge everyone to achieve their highest aspirations.”

“Water will flow over the leading edges of the sculpture into a pool below that is contained within a circular base that is about two feet high,” Wilson said.

The sculpture will be installed in the next few weeks.

“It will be a great addition to the campus and a place of reflection for students, faculty, and staff,” said Provost Green.

According to Green, in addition to the water feature, the senior class gift will be a bench facing the sculpture in honor of President Wilson.

Though the water feature is a beautification gift, there is some confusion amongst students in regards to the reasoning behind the donation.

“I love the idea of beautifying the campus and making it a great environment for students and faculty to be in. But, I wonder a little about why funds aren’t being provided for towards other things like curriculum,” said a senior psychology major.

A sophomore English major said, “I had no idea that the fountain was even built in the first place. I kind of wish the general public would have more information about these developments.”

Some members of the IWU staff have noticed the progression on the fountain and expressed their opinions.

“I will say that if they were going to do a water feature, I wish they’d put in a lovely pond in front of the library, something more naturalistic,” said Professor of English Allison Sainsbury.

In response, President Wilson disclosed the source of funding. “The donor family is funding the work already done to create the quadrangle and the cost of the sculpture,” said President Wilson.  I have had recently contacted the sculptor and learned that ‘Aspiration’ is finished and on its way to Bloomington,” said Wilson.

Administration is excited to reveal the water feature in the upcoming weeks, and Rayner plans on making a trip to view the instillation.