Did You Know?: 'When Dreams Dance' sculpture

September 5, 2013  

When Dreams Dance

The sculpture between Schleman and Hovde halls, titled "When Dreams Dance," honors two former deans of students, Barbara Cook and Beverley Stone. The sculpture was erected in 2004. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons)
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The simple, elegant sculpture that sits between Schleman and Hovde halls is titled "When Dreams Dance," and it was erected in 2004 to honor two former deans of students.

Three Class of 1968 Purdue alumnae donated funds for the project: Barbara Stonewater, who lives near Chicago, Barbara Watts, who lives in Cincinnati, and Marylu McEwen, who lives in Virginia. The sculpture honors Barbara Cook, who died in April, and Beverley Stone, who died in 2003, prior to the alumnae's decision to donate the sculpture.

The three alumnae spent the early parts of their careers in student affairs, McEwen says. In 2003, they decided to donate a sculpture that would honor Cook and Stone, whom they considered great role models for themselves and all students. David Caudill, a Louisville, Ky., sculptor, created the stainless steel sculpture.

"The sculpture's title, 'When Dreams Dance,' and its free-form aesthetic reflect the fact that Deans Stone and Cook were always trying to help students develop in themselves a healthy free spirit, an intellectual openness and a good outlook on life," McEwen says.

"We hope that 'When Dreams Dance' lifts the spirits of students, faculty and staff who see the sculpture, and that it inspires them to let their own dreams dance."

For two reasons, it's fitting that the sculpture is between Schleman and Hovde halls, McEwen says. First, the sculpture's honorees were well-known advocates for students, and that spot is visible to nearly every student who passes through central campus.

Second, the sculpture is adjacent to the building that honors Helen Schleman, who was dean of women from 1947 through 1968. She retired the same year as three donors graduated from Purdue. Schleman was one of Stone and Cook's predecessors and role models, McEwen says.

Stone was the first dean of students at Purdue, serving from 1974 to 1980. She was the first woman in the Big Ten to hold that title. Cook succeeded Stone as dean of students in 1980 and held the position until 1987.

The three alumnae and Cook attended the sculpture's dedication ceremony. It took place on Dec. 11, 2004.

In a Purdue news release issued before the dedication, Stonewater spoke about the effect Cook and Stone had on the three alumnae.

"Deans Stone and Cook modeled for us what it was like to be professionals in student affairs," Stonewater said in the release.

"These women were a step ahead of women like them all over the country, and they impacted us all on a personal and professional level as to what it meant to be strong, assertive, wonderful, smart professional women."

Writer: Amanda Hamon, 46-61325, ahamon@purdue.edu

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