The Big Picture: Welcoming normalcy

ALma Mater sculpture Altgeld Hall and Alma Mater, the beloved bronze mother figure that has greeted generations of University of Illinois students, graces the entry way to the campus. (Image by Fred Zwicky)

Alma Mater’s welcoming arms are ever open, even as the campus remains in flux due to the corona- virus pandemic. The 10,000-pound statue, created by sculptor Lorado Taft in 1929, is flanked by attendant figures named after the University’s motto “Learning and Labor.” The sculpture stands as a symbol of our hopes in the uncertain times of 2020: We all are eager to welcome “normalcy,” and the return of in-class education and a fully opened economy.