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The Legacy Fountain
by Becca Chambers

legacy fountain

legacy fountain

legacy fountain

legacy fountain

legacy fountain

legacy fountain
The Legacy Fountain was dedicated on January 28, 2005 during Heritage Day, an annual celebration of Florida State University’s history.  The monument is situated in the center of Landis Green located on Florida State University’s eastern side of campus that is home to the original campus of the Florida State College for Women.  The fountain represents the university’s evolution from a women’s liberal arts college into the coeducational research university of today.

There are six life-sized bronze figures in the fountain that are meant to be representative of the female student population of the Florida State College for Women and the current coeducational population of Florida State University.  Water fills the monument and acts as a reflection pool to remember the institution’s past and look toward the future.  A wall of water in the center of the pool symbolizes the institution’s rapid transition from the Florida State College for Women to Florida State University and places three figures on each side of the pool.

On the Landis Hall or south side of the fountain, the three female figures symbolize the Florida State College for Women.  Their attire reflects the college’s culture during its existence from 1915 until 1947.  One figure holds a book and wears an F-Club sweater from the college’s athletic club of the day.  Another figure dons a wool bathing suit like those worn by participants in the college’s Tarpon Club and used for participation in regular swimming competitions held at the indoor swimming pool in the Mongomery Gymnasium and reaches forward as she looks over the water to the future on the other side of the monument.  The third figure is dressed in a middie blouse like those traditionally worn by the students at the women’s college.  It is believed by some that, though the college never required the students to wear a uniform, the expense of the traditional middie blouse outfit discouraged lower income women from attending the Florida State College for Women.  The three figures appear to represent the academic, social, and athletic aspects of the student culture.

On the Strozier Library or north side of the fountain are two female figures and one male figure representing the students of today.  As their counterparts on the other side of the fountain, they are dressed in fashion typical of their time, in that one of the females wears a tank top, while the other female wears shorts and hold her sunglasses as she gazes towards the other side of the fountain representing the past.  The male student fashions knee-length shorts and no shirt.

The Florida State College for Women and Florida State University seals are found on their respective sides of the fountain floor.  The seals are made of Venetian glass tiles and were created by Florida State students participating in the Master Craftsman program.  Along the edge of the fountain are five bronze plaques that each explains a piece of history from FSCW or FSU.  One plaque describes the Jack Tar Middies as the style of blouse worn by students daily at FSCW.  Another plaque speaks of the future of FSU as major center for research and education.

To add to all of the symbolism captured within the fountain itself is the fountain’s placement on campus.  The fountain lies in the heart of Landis Green with the Florida State College for Women side facing Landis Hall to the south and the Florida State University side looking at Strozier library to the north.  Landis Hall was built in 1939 during the FSCW years and remains standing as one of the older structures on campus. 

Strozier Library was built in 1956 after the school became Florida State University and represents the university's movement toward a research institution.  Landis Green itself has been a place for socialization and recreation on campus since at least 1932 for students of both the Florida State College for Women and Florida State University.

The fountain is the creation of Edward Jonas, a painter and cofounder of the Portrait Society of America, who received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Florida State University in 1971.  Mr. Jonas is also the creator of other sculptures found on the Florida State campus such as the Francis Eppes monument and the statue entitled Sportsmanship.  Recently, Mr. Jonas received an appointment to the Florida Supreme Court Committee on Arts in the Courts.

Photographs by Becca Chambers

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