UMSL dedicates Barnett Memorial Plaza

The Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Plaza at UMSL

The Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Plaza at UMSL was dedicated at 10 a.m. Oct. 26. The plaza's 12-foot tall columns signify the four years Barnett served as UMSL's chancellor from 1986 to 1990. A renowned scholar and innovative administrator with a national reputation, Barnett was the university's first African American and first woman to serve as chancellor. The dedication is open to the public. (Photo by August Jennewein)

This week’s rain kept students and faculty moving quickly through the heart of North Campus at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The elegant granite and limestone piece of art with its 12-foot tall fountain columns went mostly unnoticed as it was readied for its debut. The new Marguerite Ross Barnett Memorial Plaza was dedicated on Oct. 26.

Located adjacent to Express Scripts Hall and the Social Sciences & Business Building Tower, the plaza commemorates the lasting accomplishments of Barnett who served as UMSL’s chancellor from 1986 to 1990. A renowned scholar and innovative administrator with a national reputation, she was the university’s first African American and first woman to serve as chancellor. She broke all records for raising money for buildings and scholarships. She expanded academic programs and connected the campus with surrounding communities to solve problems.

Designed by Austin Tao of the Lawrence Group in St. Louis, the plaza is composed of four granite columns representing the four years Barnett served as chancellor. Four granite walls, which signify the dynamic leader’s connection to the community, radiate from the columns. Benches and Missouri limestone ledge rocks provide different seating options. A likeness of Barnett, designed by St. Louis-area sculptor Vicki D. Reid, overlooks the plaza.

Nearly $200,000 has been raised to fund the plaza and gifts to honor Barnett are still being accepted. Call Deborah Tansil Graham, director of Alumni Relations at 314-516-4165 to learn more.

The dedication ceremony is open to the public. Call 314-516-6460 or email alumni@umsl.edu for more information about the ceremony.


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