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Fountain ceremony honors faculty donor

By Dave Jones on November 9, 2006 in University

People attending a dedication ceremony in Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts earlier this week had a bird's-eye view of the object being dedicated: the Morris Fountain, in the park across the street from the center.

The ceremony took place in the center's third-floor Margaret Deterding Grand Tier Lobby, and on the third-floor deck that overlooks the park.

The ceremony honored Professor Emerita Mary Ann Morris, who, after donating $500,000 to the Mondavi Center construction project, was given the right to name something at the center.

She chose the fountain and named it after her parents and an aunt. The fountain's official name is the Morris Fountain — In Memory of Madison and Nora Morris and Zoa Morris-Lycan.

Mary Ann Morris was a professor of textiles and clothing from 1962 to 1987, and an early member of an organization that became known as Friends of UC Davis Presents, precursor of today's Friends of Mondavi Center. She resides in Davis.

As part of the dedication, Morris recited a ceremonial countdown — and the fountain then switched on as people clinked glasses of champagne.

The fountain complements Mondavi Center's mission. The fountain's rectangular pool sits like a stage at the foot of a grassy bowl. Curved, brick walls, wide enough to sit on, line the terraces around the "stage." A "curtain" of water falls from a crossbeam that spans two concrete columns rising from the pool.

Media contact(s)

Dave Jones, Dateline, 530-752-6556,