The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's College of Engineering is a great institution, ranking among the ten best engineering colleges in the nation. In addition to providing students with academic excellence, the College of Engineering is committed to introducing more women to engineering and is among the top ten US schools in numbers of engineering bachelor's degrees awarded to women.
The Grainger Engineering Library at Illinois, the biggest engineering library of the world, has a statue of "Grainger Bob" at its south entrance. J. Seward Johnson's "Grainger Bob" issculpture of a maleengineering student reading a book entitled "The Future". "Grainger Bob" is very popular among the engineering students and a favorite picture spot.
We believe that "Grainger Bob" needs a female counterpart on the engineering campus, and we propose thata sculpture of a female engineering student be installed at the new Electrical and Computer Engineering building.This female counterpart to "Grainger Bob" will help promote women as knowledgeable and successful engineers and will proudly display our commitment to the education of women engineers. It will also boast the confidence of female engineering aspirants.
There are many efforts to support women studying engineering on campus. The Women in Engineering (WIE) program has undertaken many initiatives over the years to promote female students in engineering. There are registered student organizations which focus on women, like Women in ECE, Women in CS, Women in Aerospace, and the Society of Women Engineers. Every year, freshmen women in engineering participate in the WIE Camp orientation before the beginning of classes..
Having a female student statue will add to these efforts in a unique way. In the paper, Towards the Understanding of Sculpture as Public Art, Curtis Carter writes that “public art might aim at fostering unity among people by idealizing the sentiments of the community, or by focusing on some areas of common agreement.” A female representative on the engineering campus will not only benefit current female engineering students in the College of Engineering but also inspire prospective students who visit the university for tours and events such as Engineering Open House, reaffirming our commitment to have more women graduating from the College of Engineering.
This petition will be presented to the Art in Architecture Committee in charge of art pieces for the new building, and your signature can help shape their plans.