Sometimes flowing with water, and sometimes empty, the Samuel Morris Fountains have been revamped for their 25th anniversary on campus.
The statues, affectionately called the Sammy Statues, were first proposed by student Jamey Schmitz in 1988, 95 years after Samuel Morris died. The statues were commissioned from local artist and sculptor Ken Ryden, who also made the pillar monument by Zondervan Library. After six years of effort, the statues were finally dedicated in 1996 during Taylor’s 150th anniversary ceremony.
Born as Prince Kaboo in Liberia, Morris attended Taylor following his conversion through the work of a missionary and Taylor graduate. His testimony and faith were admired by his peers and became part of his inspirational legacy following his passing in 1893.
Taylor’s website gives a brief account of some events surrounding the dedication which consisted of a flag-carrying procession after a special chapel service.
“International students, carrying the flags of their respective countries, led a procession to the statues’ unveiling following a special chapel service,” the website reads.
The fountain has several plaques around it telling the story of Samuel Morris and the meaning the statues carry. Each statue stands in a ring representing the unity of God and an ictus symbol is also visible.
Over the years, the fountains have been through several different phases, including different colors and ways to spray the water. Currently, there is no fountain, but water is being circulated in the pools.
According to Facilities and Services Director Gregg Holloway, the fountains are shut off around Nov. 1 and turned back on around April to prevent freezing issues.
This summer, Ryden came in and cleaned the statues. Then, maintenance workers did some upkeep work and installed the water circulation system before Homecoming and Family Weekend.
“I think they're cool, it's a nice little asset and decoration for the campus,” said freshman Juli Lee. “I feel like it’d be empty if they weren’t there.”