New sculpture honors Purdue women's dedication to University

August 18, 2014  


New sculpture

Betty Mitchell Nelson (left to right), Sandra Kay Monroe, Mark Anthony Wallis, Kimberly Ewing Gebert (Linda Ewing's daughter), and Marylu McEwen attend the sculpture dedication on Thursday (April 14).
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A sculpture honoring three Purdue women for their commitment to Purdue and the success of its students was dedicated Thursday (Aug. 14) at the corner of Third Street and Martin Jischke Drive.

The 7-foot-3-inch-tall abstract sculpture by Arizona artist Mark Anthony Wallis honors Linda Hurd Ewing, former associate dean of students; Sandra Kay Monroe, director of university undergraduate advising; and Betty Mitchell Nelson, dean of students emerita. The sculpture was made possible by a gift from Purdue alumna Marylu McEwen, who worked in the Office of the Dean of Women from 1970 to 1974 as a graduate intern and later as a full-time counselor.

"I have known Betty and Linda since the late 1960s and Sandy from the mid-1970s -- Betty and Linda initially as mentors, then all three as colleagues and dear friends," McEwen says. "The magnitude of their contributions to Purdue and to its students has been great. Some of their efforts are more widely known, but, for the most part, Linda, Sandy and Betty are unsung contributors to Purdue. I wanted to acknowledge their extraordinary work in some permanent way. Adding to public art at Purdue seemed a perfect tribute to these three women."

Hurd Ewing died in 2000 while serving as associate dean of students. She began her career in student services at Purdue in 1965 as assistant dean of women. During her tenure, she served as advisor to the Association of Women Students, the Student Cooperative Association, and Old Masters. She also supervised the Career Resource Center, University Division, the HORIZONS Program, Span Plan, Testing Center, and the University's Committee on Scholastic Deficiencies and Readmissions. Hurd Ewing has received the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion Award and the Special Boilermaker Award.

Monroe is currently the director of university undergraduate advising within the Office of the Provost. For more than 30 years, Monroe has been committed to improving the quality of the student experience at Purdue. During that time, she has held positions as a counselor, assistant dean of students, and associate dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs. Monroe has been honored with the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion Award, Special Boilermaker Award, Student Services Career Award, and M. Beverley Stone Counseling Award.

Nelson spent 30 years of her career at Purdue, most of it in the Office of the Dean of Students. Nelson served as assistant dean of students, associate dean of students and dean of students. She has received numerous awards and honors including the Helen B. Schleman Gold Medallion, Special Boilermaker Award (as the first woman recipient), Salute to Women - Education (YWCA), and the State of Indiana's highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash.

McEwen earned two degrees from Purdue -- a bachelor of science degree in mathematics in 1968 and a Ph.D. in counseling and personnel services in 1973. She is associate professor emerita in the Department of Counseling, Higher Education, and Special Education at the University of Maryland. McEwen was also involved with bringing "When Dreams Dance," a sculpture honoring former deans Barbara Cook and Beverley Stone, to Purdue in 2004.

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