Campus windows sculpture provides glimpse into future

Since 1994 the 18-foot tall, stainless-steel sculpture designed by Fr. Tom Brown, OFM, has stood on Quincy University’s campus.

Upon walking through campus, the sculpture stands tall, alone, on the lawn near the building known as Willar Hall. On a bright sunny day, the rays shine onto the sculpture and reflect off light across the lawn. This sculpture was named “Windows to the Future” by Fr. Brown. This sculpture and the sculptor himself have a lot of history with the university.

“The sculpture was designed by Fr. Tom Brown, OFM. He taught art here from the mid-1950s until his death in 1994 of Parkinson’s disease. The sculpture was the last piece of art he did, one of the few things he did with sculpture,” Fr. Joe Zimmerman said. “The only other sculptures I am aware of that he did are some foot-high images of saints cast in bronze, and the bronze medallions that were used for the Bonaventure awards. I think he did it as his final work as an artist.” 

Fr. Brown also contributed more artwork than just the sculpture to the university. His talent can be viewed in another area on the university’s campus.

“His most ambitious project, which he did only a few years after he arrived in Quincy in the 1950s, was the re-imaging of the chapel,” Fr. Zimmerman said. “He replaced an earlier traditional décor by capitalizing on the Romanesque chapel architecture with Romanesque art. The figure of Christ that dominates the chapel is a copy of an image in a cathedral in Cefalu, Sicily.”

Students on campus are not familiar with “Windows to the Future”, or they recognize the sculpture itself but are not familiar with the name.

“I am not familiar with the sculpture, and I don’t think I have ever heard anyone talk about it,” Sara Warning said.

“I vaguely know a little bit about the “Windows of the Future” sculpture,” Lauren Gille said. “I have seen it around campus, but I do not know a whole lot about it.”

Just like some students, it is likely that other people are not familiar with the sculpture either. There are many people that pass this sculpture almost every day. People that are familiar and unfamiliar with the sculpture have made their own presumptions about what the meaning is behind the sculpture’s name.

“To me when I see it, I think of all the possibilities that are in store for each student on campus. While attending QU students are creating their futures and they are given a glimpse of what their futures may hold,” Gille said.

“I suspect he chose the name “Windows to the Future” to highlight hope in the future, as he saw his own life coming to an end. But that is just my conjecture,” Fr. Zimmerman said.

“I think that the windows depict the people going through college who are becoming the future of our world,” Warning said. “When you look through those windows you are seeing many different parts of our future.”

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