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Willey donates "Student" sculpture to NMSU Library

The New Mexico State University Library announces the gift of a bronze sculpture, "The Student." The sculpture is displayed on the second floor of Zuhl Library.

"The Student" (NMSU photo by Jeanette Smith)

Irene K. Willey donated the sculpture in memory of her late husband, Darrell S. Willey, a lifelong teacher, mentor and scholar. During 36 years with NMSU, Darrell Willey worked in educational management as a department head, director of ERIC Cress and director of the Educational Research Center.

Willey said it was the perfect piece to represent "much that Darrell stood for. He remained excited about learning all his life."

"I trust that the value of the message as well as the quality of the art will enhance my alma mater and represent the contributions Darrell made to NMSU during his career," Willey said.

She recounted how she and her husband had first seen the sculpture by Gary Price at a gallery in Scottsdale, Ariz., and she commented that she would love to see it in the NMSU Library. When she pursued the purchase as a memorial, it was no longer available, so she commissioned a new casting from Price.

"He remains the one who refuses to stop taking notes, or stop the learning process," said Price of "The Student," which portrays a studious octogenarian.

On a lighter note, one viewer said of the sculpture, "It is sure taking this guy a long time to graduate."

For more information contact the Library Administration at (575) 646-1508.