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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Women’s Plaza demystified

    President Shelton speaks at the unveiling of the kiosk in the Womens Plaza of Honor Monday evening. The kiosk contains the biographies of more than 400 women who are honored in the plaza.
    President Shelton speaks at the unveiling of the kiosk in the Women’s Plaza of Honor Monday evening. The kiosk contains the biographies of more than 400 women who are honored in the plaza.

    If you’ve ever wondered about the women celebrated in the Women’s Plaza of Honor, wonder no more.

    A kiosk housing a computer and a database of names and stories of all the women honored in the Women’s Plaza of Honor was unveiled in a ceremony last night.

    Many people who walk through the plaza don’t know anything about the women honored there, but this kiosk allows people to look up the stories of the women, said Leigh Spencer, program coordinator for Women’s Studies Advisory Council

    More than 60 percent of the honorees have stories in the database as of right now, and the Women’s Studies Advisory Council and the Women’s Studies Department, who co-sponsored the kiosk, hope to soon have 100 percent of the women’s stories in the database, Spencer said.

    “”We’re getting a lot of people all of a sudden realizing, ‘Wait, I honored someone a couple years ago but I haven’t written their story yet,'”” Spencer said. “”So we’re getting a flood of stories in.””

    Around 700 women are honored in the Women’s Plaza of Honor, said Shannon Ritchie, administrative assistant for the Women’s Plaza of Honor.

    “”One of the missions of the women’s plaza is to honor all women and not just women who are famous or women who’ve had major political accomplishments or various other successes,”” Spencer said.

    The database holds both the stories of the honorees and donors and an interactive map of the kiosk that allows people to find out where in the plaza a woman is honored, Ritchie said.

    “”(The kiosk) will tell us – tell anyone who walks through the plaza the history – the background of the names on an arch, on a bench, on a tile,”” said UA President Robert Shelton in his speech, who spoke at the unveiling of the kiosk, along with six others.

    Located on a walkway behind the arches on the plaza, the kiosk will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Ritchie said.

    The unveiling ceremony completed phase one of the Women’s Plaza of Honor, which includes the kiosk, plaza, arches and a women’s studies doctoral scholarship fund, said Saundra Taylor, master of ceremonies for the event and retired University of Arizona senior vice president of student affairs.

    Phase two will include expanding the ways people can honor women by using bricks, benches, lights and trees, said Taylor.

    Spencer said she hopes reading the stories of honorees will motivate people to honor a woman who has inspired or helped them.

    “”[The kiosk] opens the door for people to have honoring opportunities within the plaza,”” Spencer said.

    More than 150 people showed up to the unveiling, which featured seven speakers, a dance troupe and singers from the Tohono O’Odham Nation who sang four years ago at the plaza’s opening.

    The Women’s Plaza of Honor helps remind people about the history of UA and the women who realized their vision while building the University, said Shelton.

    Currently around $1.3 million has been gifted to the building of the Women’s Plaza of Honor, he said.

    “”I continue to be just overwhelmed by the generosity of people in this community,”” Shelton said.

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