To honor the occasion of the inauguration of President Mary Sue Coleman, the Inauguration Planning Committee has selected an original work of art from artist and Professor Marianetta Porter.
The inspiration for this cast-bronze sculpture lies deep in the artistic philosophy of Professor Porter. She has created a three-dimensional vision of the Sankofa, the Adinkra symbol of a bird that faces forward, yet turns its head back toward its tail. The Akan people attach a proverb to this creature: "Return to your roots, to reclaim your future." This bird is a symbol of wisdom and the quest for knowledge, and the sculpture that we offer to President Coleman today represents the perpetual quest of our university: to advance knowledge while never losing sight of the traditions that have brought us to this point.
Professor Marianetta Porter is a member of the faculty of the School of Art and Design, and has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Smithsonian Fellowship Award. Her work has been featured in several books and in exhibitions ranging from the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry to the Spoleto Arts Festival USA.