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Feature

An artist rendering of the new alumni monument

A new monument on the Twin Cities campus will honor the founding of the University and recipients of the U's Outstanding Achievement Award.

Landmark monument to honor alumni

From eNews, August 5, 2004

The Outstanding Achievement Award is the highest honor the University of Minnesota bestows upon its alumni. More than 1,000 alums have received the award, which recognizes U graduates who have attained unusual distinction in their chosen fields or professions. Soon, the names of these noted recipients will grace a monument at the corner of Oak and Washington on the University's East Bank. Designed by renowned architect Antoine Predock, the structure of oxidized steel will extend from Washington Avenue for more than 200 feet along Oak Street toward the entrance of the McNamara Alumni Center. About 2,000 tiny lights within the monument will illuminate the exterior of the structure--creating an artistic representation of the night sky as it appeared on February 25, 1851, the date of the University's charter. And a "day chamber," a public viewing space with an overhanging roof and tiny holes, will direct sunlight onto an angled stainless steel panel below, creating an impression of constellations inside the monument. "Antoine Predock [who also designed the McNamara Alumni Center and Gateway Plaza] is again honoring Minnesota's heritage in this work," says Tom LaSalle, owners representative for the University Gateway Corporation. "There's steel, the vast night sky, and again the inspiration drawn from the cliffs of Lake Superior." The new monument, expected to be ready this fall, is also the starting point for the Scholars' Walk--a pathway that will stretch west across Northrop Mall to Appleby Hall and will honor the University's Nobel Prize winners and recipients of other prestigious academic awards. Both the monument and the Scholars' Walk will be completed with private funds and an endowment created for ongoing maintenance, says Fred Friswold, volunteer chairman of the Gateway Corporation and a former University of Minnesota Alumni Association president.

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