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We Share a Sense of Place

"We believe that art can play a vital role in the transformative experience of education, [nurturing] human connection, interaction, and understanding."—Puncky ’73 and Mary Soehren Heppner ’76

A smiling man and woman

We all know that college is hard, but Puncky ’73 and Mary Soehren Heppner ’76 understand it better than most. As psychologists and academics, not to mention former first-generation high-school and college students, the Heppners appreciate the struggles many students face throughout their undergraduate careers. They also understand that a sense of belonging can ground those students and contribute to their success. That's why they are commissioning a sculpture to do just that. Their gift will become a defining element of the Morris campus, adding to its sense of place and celebrating the "strength, resilience, compassion, and heart of the indigenous peoples" here. Moreover, the sculpture will reflect the transformative power of education in preparing the next generation of all cultural groups for their life journeys. "We believe that art can play a vital role in the transformative experience of education," they write, nurturing "human connection, interaction, and understanding."

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