Inside UNC Charlotte — July 2012 — CATO Teaching Discovery Mural

Inside UNC Charlotte — July 2012 — CATO Teaching Discovery Mural


>>Stephen Ward In honor of its 40th anniversary, UNC Charlotte’s
College of Education has commissioned the CATO Teaching Discovery Mural. Alumnus Bill Anderson recently spoke with
Dean Mary Lynne Calhoun along with Emmy Lou Burchette to learn more about the mural and
the Looking Forward Campaign.>>Bill Anderson Dean Calhoun, could you tell us a little bit
about this very exciting mural that’s going to be on the campus very soon?>>Mary Lynne Calhoun I am delighted to tell you the story of the
CATO Teaching Discovery Mural. We are celebrating the 40th anniversary of
the College of Education at UNC Charlotte and I love thinking about the number of educators
who have been prepared for their careers at this University and have gone forward and
touched the lives of hundreds of people. Over 6,000 of our alumni are now teaching
in North Carolina public schools, for example. I also think that Looking Forward is very
important. We’re preparing great new educators now who
come to this campus with a desire to make a difference in the lives of young people. So looking at our history, generations of
great educators, and a future that’s even brighter, this seems like a very wonderful
time to honor that commitment, not only of UNC Charlotte alumni who are educators, but
the profession itself. To capture this moment and to generate gifts
that will help the College support these young people, we’ve created a wonderful project
called the CATO Teaching Discovery Mural. It is being created thanks to a very generous
gift from Mr. John Cato and the CATO Corporation. This mural is being erected on the grounds
of the College of Education building at UNC Charlotte and on the walls of the sculpture
will be inscribed the names of great teachers that donors have honored, and the names of
those great teachers will be there forever, and every new generation of future educators
will walk by that mural every day and know that the transformational power of teachers
goes on forever.>>Bill Anderson Well there’s nothing more important than great
teachers and UNC Charlotte has produced so many great teachers and I think this is a
wonderful way for us to honor their legacy and to give people an opportunity to say thanks
in a meaningful way. We’re very excited about this and the plans
look absolutely beautiful.>>Mary Lynne Calhoun Let me turn to my colleague, Emmy Lou Burchette,
who has led our design team for this very special project.>>Emmy Lou Burchette The Looking Forward Campaign that is celebrating
the anniversary of the College of Education is really all about honor, celebrate and grow
for the College of Education and as part of that we wanted a centerpiece that would help
again lift up teachers and the teaching profession. So the idea was to create a monument that
would be adorned with carved murals and these murals will provide information that is about
the state of North Carolina, about the Charlotte region, and also about teaching and education
in its facets, all educators, not just teachers. We were very lucky as part of this project
to have a wonderful team. We selected Mara Smith who is a world renowned
sculptor, who will be doing the carving of the murals, and she has a wonderful gift of
taking conceptual ideas and bringing them to life in the sculpture. We also have Richard Petersheim and Dennis
Walls who are with LandDesign, who helped us with the design of the monuments, the structures
that will actually hold the murals, and Steve Ratzlaff, who is heading up our construction
process with the HeardRatzlaff team, which is really essential to taking these designs
and ideas and turning it into reality.>>Mary Lynne Calhoun Donors who make a gift bill of $1,000 dollars
or more can name that special teacher in their life and that name will permanently be inscribed
on the mural. Because of the generous gift of John Cato
and The CATO Corporation, the cost of designing and erecting the mural has been covered by
that gift. So these gifts of $1,000 dollars are building
a future for the College of Education. The College’s first unrestricted endowment
that will enable the College to take the next big important ideas, the next needs of our
students and faculty, and respond to them in effective ways.>>Bill Anderson So, I guess the next step is how are we going
to let everybody know about this wonderful opportunity?>>Emmy Lou Burchette Well, we have established a new web portal,
lookingforward.uncc.edu, and that portal is set up specifically to help people understand
about the anniversary of the College, the campaign, Looking Forward, and there’s a section
where you can submit a story, and we will rotate some of these stories and share them
with people as well as information about the mural itself.>>Bill Anderson So it’s very clear, this is not just about
teachers who graduated from UNC Charlotte but any teacher and this is a very noble cause
to recognize and value the profession of teaching.>>Mary Lynne Calhoun This is honoring of the profession of teaching,
the profession of educating broadly writ. A person might identify that special teacher
as one who happened to be a guidance counselor, or a school leader, or a coach. However we
define that teacher, we’re honoring the relationship, the transfer of knowledge, the gift of hope
that those educators give. I would love to have the opportunity to share
the conversation about the transformational power of teachers with groups in the community,
and if there are groups that would like to participate in that conversation, I hope they’ll
contact me at the College of Education.

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