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When the plaza in front of the new Hoover Library was created in 1991, its granite ledges were bare. William M. David Jr., a retired professor of political science, suggested that the names of all professors emeriti be engraved on the tops of the granite ledges to perpetuate their service to the college (name, department, and dates of services are inscribed for each). He provided some of the funding through his estate, and the project was carried through to completion. The plaza was named "Memorial Plaza" at that time, and on one side was placed a small brick pedestal which incorporates all the cornerstones of the original college buildings which once stood (1867-1959) very near the site. Atop is the bell from Old Main, which called students to classes and meals in an earlier time. The bell is also rung by seniors upon graduation and as a memorial when an alumnus/alumna dies.
The plaza is a memorial not only to the old buildings of the College but also to the people who gave their professional lives and careers to the institution. Memorial Plaza is the very center of the campus and a focal point for many college activities. It is also a place for alumni to seek out the names of former professors who made an impact on their lives, and it marks a significant part of our heritage.
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