‘The Visionaries’ come home

Monument to be centrepiece of new Presidents’ Circle on campus.


(Edmonton) More than a hundred years after they founded the University of Alberta, Alexander Cameron Rutherford and Henry Marshall Tory are returning.

A monument to the two men, titled The Visionaries, is being installed in the centre of the Presidents’ Circle near 89 Avenue and 114 Street on the U of A’s north campus. Rutherford, the province’s first premier, introduced legislation to create the U of A, and Tory was the university’s first president.

The installation is the final step in a long journey for the founders’ return. The monument—a gift to the university from the U of A Alumni Association to mark the association’s centenary—was created by renowned artist and U of A alumna Barbara Paterson, ’57 BA(SpecCert), ’88 BFA. It was moved from her Edmonton studio to a foundry in Calgary, where it was cast in bronze. From the initial sketch to the completed bronze, the project took about three years.

When it arrives on campus, the 900-kilogram monument will be harnessed—carefully—and a crane will lower it onto a custom-designed plinth. After the monument is set in place, it will be covered for a short time.

The official unveiling of The Visionaries and the opening of the Presidents’ Circle will take place Sept. 24, kicking off the 2015 Alumni Weekend.