About the Statue
The figure of Becky Gates represents a teacher leading children into the realm of education, represented by the gates.
The symbols woven into the gates are as follows:
The support panels attached to the gateposts contain numbers and the alphabet, the foundation of all learning. The gates include those items that children first use to express their vision and knowledge of the world, paintbrushes, scissors, crayons, building blocks, etc.
A world has been placed in the center of the gates because it is the world of education which provides the foundation and skills to the diverse student body of Texas A&M University, thereby allowing each student to become a steward of the world. The children at play represent that learning is fun and that it is just as important to condition the body as the mind. The children are Brad and Eleanor Gates, children of Becky and Bob Gates and Alexandria McFerrin Bohner, granddaughter of Dorothy and Artie McFerrin. The statue is a gift from the McFerrins to Texas A&M University and the Becky Gates Children’s Center. The teacher reaching for the gates at the level of the stars symbolizes the responsibility to teach the students that the future is limitless and they too, should reach for the stars. Finally, the gates are topped with possibly the highest art form, music, and this music happens to be the first two measures of the Aggie War Hymn.
About the Artist
Bill McGlaun is an award-winning sculptor from Cleveland, Texas. He has been featured in several art magazines including “State of the Art News,” “Southwest Art,” and “Wildlife Art News.” McGlaun’s public displays include a sculpture in the Pope’ s personal collection at the Summer Palace in Rome, a sculpture for the Texas Education Agency in the William B. Travis Building in Austin and the “Shaping the Future” statue for the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University. In addition to these sculptures, in 2001 he also created a bronze statue commemorating 9/11.