Alma Mater

Topics: Academia, Alma mater, Lorado Taft Pages: 3 (1018 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Living Through the Alma Mater
Throughout the history of universities there has always been a figure that exemplifies school pride. At the University of Illinois, the Alma Mater is that defining figure. From the creation of the Alma Mater, she has established history and pride between the students and staff at the University of Illinois. To this day, the Alma Mater’s presence is everywhere from storefronts to postcards. No matter where you go on the University of Illinois campus, there is always something that shows the Alma Mater’s face with her arms stretching out. A simple motto made this all possible. Through the University of Illinois’s motto, “Learning and Labor,” it has helped develop a system of value that continues to this day through a visual piece of art. We all know the Illinois Loyalty song by heart, or at least we should, but from that song our school motto, “Learning and Labor”, has stood out for one artist, Lorado Taft. His “gift”, the Alma Mater, was dedicated to the University of Illinois in honor of his fiftieth anniversary of his graduation in 1929, on Alumni day. A motto and a symbol that would haven unnoticed if the Alma Mater was never created. From his ideas, Lorado Taft depicted the Alma Mater “as a majestic woman in scholastic robes, who arises from her throne and advances a step with outstretching arms,” Gesturing greeting “her” children; the Alma Mater shows pride to her students of the past, present, and future. While standing behind her two twin looking figures that are acting as “Learning and Labor,” shaking hands in creating a visual image of our motto. From this depiction, it has been imbedded in the mind of the past, present, and future generations as a defining factor in school pride and loyalty. Ever since the Alma Mater has been built, it has brought the students of the University of Illinois great pride. From looking at a photo from 1948, students who are still eloquently dressed in graduation robes gather around the Alma...
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