As she leaves Fairmont State University’s campus today after more than 25 years of leadership in state higher education, Dr. Maria C. Bennett Rose also leaves her mark on campus.
Friends and colleagues wanted to make sure there was a visual representation of Dr. Rose’s legacy on the campus, so funds were raised and a metal sculpture was purchased in her honor.
Vertical Scallop, a 2012 public art sculpture created by Morgantown artist Michael Loop out of steel, ceramics, recycled tires and enamel paint, is a vivid and bold piece that resembles flames on campfire logs. It was part of temporary art display on campus in 2015, and that’s when it caught the eye of Dr. Robert Mild, interim dean of the School of Fine Arts.
“I was walking on campus in the fall and the leaves of the trees were orange, which set off the orange flames,” Mild said. “It was a magical moment.”
Mild began to raise funds for the piece, and several friends of Fairmont State University and the departing president supported the piece. Earlier this spring, Dr. Rose was presented with the honor.
Mild says that he calls the piece by an unofficial name – Falcon Flames – and to him it represents the support Dr. Rose freely gave to the arts on campus and in the community.
“This is just another way that we can say thank for everything that she’s done, for me, for all of us,” Mild said.
After being part of the Fairmont State family since she began her own education, Dr. Rose became the University’s president in 2012. Prior to her appointment, she served as Interim President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and as a faculty member. She announced her retirement in 2016 and her last day on campus was Friday, June 30, 2017.
Throughout her career, she was an advocate for students, faculty and staff, Fairmont State and higher education.
Dr. Rose received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Fairmont State College and a Master of Arts degree in Reading from West Virginia University. From WVU, she also earned an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on family and community literacy issues as they relate to higher education.
Dr. Stephen Jones will serve as interim president as a search for Dr. Rose’s replacement continues
For more information: http://www.michaelloop.com