University of Delaware

University of Delaware, Mentors’ Circle, Newark, Delaware

Wings Of Thought

Within Mentors’ Circle at the front entry plaza of the University of Delaware now sits an iconic, symbolic sculpture, Wings of Thought. The granite and bronze form, of an open book and quill, resembles a bird in flight. For nearly 200 years, the open book has symbolically identified the University of Delaware. It is the central image found in the institution’s 1833 seal, synthesizing founder Francis Alison’s powerful guiding philosophy and founding purpose while embodying the university’s commitment to the future.

Wings of Thought serves as a meeting place to hand out the Francis Alison Award, which is bestowed upon a few selected professors each year for their remarkable and sustained excellence in scholarship and mentorship. Within Deutsch’s paving design, 45 granite plaques are set into a ring surrounding the sculpture to serve as a lasting tribute to the awarded scholars. Every year, the tradition of honoring professors continues, with new plaques being added to the paving. Campus tours start here, where visitors are reminded of the University’s past traditions of scholarship; alumni convene here to have their pictures taken with their families.

• Title and date: Wings of Thought, 2012
• Location: University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
• Materials: Granite, bronze
• Dimensions: Book, 4’6” x 14’ x 10’; quill, 12’ x 3’ x 12”
• Commissioned by: University of Delaware
• Plaza and paving designed by: Deutsch Studio