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Honor statue adorns WCTC campus, recognizes faculty, staff

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In honor of College faculty and staff, Waukesha County Technical College commissioned an original work of art to grace the campus and become a permanent fixture on the WCTC grounds.

On Tuesday, Aug. 21, a special unveiling and dedication ceremony was held to present the 6-foot bronze sculpture, “Honor” to College employees. The event also recognized the donors who funded the project along with the artists and their family members who made the vision a reality.

The sculpture, which is located outside the Business building across from the pond, features an owl in flight holding onto a scroll and soaring over and open book. It sits above a stamped concrete foundation flanked by two benches with planters, to enhance its beauty.

The image of an owl was chosen because of its symbolism. It represents knowledge and wisdom, which can be strengthened through a sound education like the one students receive at WCTC.

The unique piece of art was conceptualized by the late John Rawlins, renown for his nature and wildlife art. Sadly, during the creation of the piece, Rawlins was involved in a fatal car accident. Free-form artist Naomi Moes-Jenkins stepped in to finish the sculpture, keeping Rawlins’ vision top of mind.

At the dedication, Moes-Jenkins said in creating the sculpture, she learned more about Rawlins through working with some of his colleagues. Their stories helped her to better understand his vision and execute the design, while incorporating her own talents.

“I felt that he was giving me vision to do my very best work. I often thought about him … and I do believe he gave me inspiration,” she said. “I want to thank the College for putting art at the forefront of its campus. I think that’s wonderful.”

The commission of this one-of-a-kind work was made possible thanks to generous donations from Quarles & Brady LLP, the WCTC Foundation, the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education – Waukesha, and a few individual gifts from friends of the College.

“Quarles & Brady is very proud of its 40-year relationship as a partner and counselor to WCTC. The College's work and mission is invaluable to our community - it's life changing for many of its students and is an engine for economic growth in Waukesha and beyond,” said Mike Aldana, Quarles and Brady partner. “The College's mission overlaps with Quarles & Brady's dedication to education and to giving back to our communities. The Honor statue is a wonderful tribute to the College's employees and students, and Quarles is honored to be a contributor.”