Don’t Judge a Statue By Its Color: Alma Mater’s Color Doesn’t Represent What Students Think


The Alma Mater’s post will be empty until she returns in April.

Her long-awaited return may finally be over; the Alma Mater is scheduled to return to her post on Green and Wright streets in April.

She is celebrated “as a benign and majestic woman in scholastic robes, who rises from her throne and advances a step with outstretched arms, a gesture of generously greeting her children.”

Students are relieved to have the Alma Mater’s familiar face back. Her post seemed empty without her.

Her face may not look the way many remember. She was returned to her original bronze color, rather than her recent greenish color. The new color sparks emotions of fear of change and tradition.


The Alma Mater off campus before returning to her original color.
Photo from University of Illinois website.

Nina Nguyen, junior in molecular and cellular biology, wonders how the new color will be received by students. She pointed out that pictures of the green Alma Mater are all over campus. Her new color will take some adjustment.

Chris Bourg is a graduate student in accounting science. He is worried about the cost of fixes made to the Alma Mater. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reported that “the original cost of the project was $99,962.” The final cost is expected to be more around $360,000.


The Alma Mater switching to her original color.
Photo from University of Illinois website.

In assignment 7, I aimed to capture what each color of the Alma Mater represented to students. I used an authority figure in the chemistry department, Christian Ray, to point out what the colors meant scientifically.

Listen for yourself on how students reacted to the Alma Mater’s color change.

This project was tricky to do, especially because I had to learn how to write a script. I think with more practice, I could get the hang of audio journalism. I enjoyed my first attempt.


I took my recorder and script under a blanket to make sure I blocked out sound I didn’t want in my narration.

Plus, it was fun to record my narration. Sure, I don’t like the sound of my own voice, but my selfie of recording under a blanket is pretty funny.

For those interested, the script for the audio piece is in a separate post on my blog.

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