Senior class to donate life-size statue

By Annie Stodola

Matilda Wilson, also known as the founding mother of Oakland University, may soon be commemorated with a statue.

Alongside the Dodge brothers, Wilson was one of the driving forces in the creation of Oakland University.  

The senior class gift committee of 2010 would like to help educate future students with the addition of a statue in her honor.  

“A lot of Oakland students don’t know the rich history that our University has and we hope that the Matilda Wilson statue will help educate students on how generous our founding mother was,” said Kayla Jones, chair of the senior class gift committee.

The class of 2010 would like to give the gift of a down payment on a life-size bronze statue of Matilda Wilson. 

This project is a multi-year campaign that will take approximately five years to complete. 

Future classes will have the responsibility of paying off the statue.

This is the first time in university history that the senior class will be giving back to the university as a whole, according to Jones and the senior class gift committee.

Despite past failed efforts, Jones believes that the class of 2010 is determined to leave their mark.  

“The senior class gift committee had other ideas for the money raised: scholarships, solar panels, etc., but we wanted to support a project that would benefit the entire student body and not just one or two students,” said Jones.

The class is asking each student to donate $20.10 — due to the fact that they are the class of 2010. 

Donations are tax deductible and can be made at the official OU gift donation website

Students just need to note that it is intended for the “Class of 2010 Senior Class Gift.” Donations can be made in person at the tabling events as well.

 The estimated goal is to have 125 of the 1,700 students with senior standing to donate to the project. 

Jones and the rest of her committee also believe that the statue will instill a greater sense of school pride.

Senior secondary education history major Liz Kondrat believes that other avenues should have been explored.

“I don’t have the money to donate to a statue,” she said. “(The class gift) is a good idea, but they should do more to promote it.”

Kondrat said she was unaware of the gift and committee until it was too late.

“So many other universities have statues or their presidents and founders and we would like to carry on that tradition here at OU,” said Jones.

Students who donate will have their names printed in the OU Magazine as a special gift donor and there will be a plaque on the statue that indicates the project was “launched by the Class of 2010.” 

“We are also encouraging members of the student body who have a friend or loved one graduating, to give in their honor — there is a spot online and on the giving envelopes to give in honor or memory of someone,” said Jones.  

The project will end April 18. For more information, the project representatives will be tabling in the Oakland Center Wednesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 1, from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.