The sundial on the lawn of the Walsh Performing Arts Center was unveiled today in honor of TCU alumna Jan O’Neill.
Her husband Joseph, a graduate of Notre Dame, approached William Andrewes, creator of the longitude dial, about the project in 2012 as a surprise gift for his wife.
Andrewes said he had remained in touch with the O’Neills after he built a sundial for him at Mr. O’Neill’s alma mater.
“It is an honor to be able to contribute to this gift and to the educational experience provided here at TCU,” Andrewes said. “It will serve as a place to meet, study, write and think as well as bring forth the history of this university and bring light to where you are in time and space.”
Provost Nowell Donovan said he hopes the sundial provides another opportunity to fulfill TCU’s vision of the “Academy of Tomorrow” as well as open a gateway of curiosity to children.
“TCU should not only be a collection of building,” Donovan said. “It should also offer structures that make us ask questions like ‘What is that?’ and ‘Why is that here?'”
“All through the history of sundials, they are referencing our journey as a civilization and our coming to terms with the passing of time and the changing of the seasons,” he said.
The TCU dial was designed as a “marriage” between art and science–a “precise instrument with no moving parts that works without a sound.” Andrewes said.
“Time marches on,” Donovan said. “It’s the one vector we cannot control and [the sundial] helps us understand time in a complete sense.”