The Plaque and How it Got Here

NFWC Plaque to Willa Cather

On the second floor of Andrews Hall, a plaque mounts a wall outside the main office.  The plaque looks to be in fairly good condition, despite being sixty years old, and especially despite what it went through.  It honors "Willa Cather, Doctor of Letters", and is marked with the years of her life, and the title of one of her books, "One of Ours".  It also includes a quotation from poet Vachel Lindsay (unfortunately misspelled on the plaque itself).  The plaque, as a whole, honors the literary work of Willa Cather after going to the University, and celebrates her life.  The meaning of "One of Ours" on the plaque and the reasoning behind it are unknown.  It could be a reference to her days at the university, making her literally "One of Ours," if the "we" refers to the university.  However, it could also refer to Nebraska in general, or to the NFWC as an organization.

NFWC Willa Cather plaque comemoration

The plaque is marked for 1950, though it didn't come to the University right away.  It was dedicated by the Nebraska Federation of Women's Clubs at their 55th Annual State Convention in March of 1951 (the convention went from the 28th until the 30th).  In the Love Library Auditorium, Mrs. E. A. Creighton, the State Chairman of Art, directed the presentation and acceptance of two plaques, one of which being the Cather plaque.  Mrs. Mildred R. Bennett of Red Cloud, NE, Cather's childhood home(Minutes, 55th Annual ...).  Since the plaque was dedicated only four years after Cather's death, it is likely that it was intedned to commemorate not only Cather's death but also her years of work as a prominant author.  The fact that it was a women's club likely suggests that the club was serving its purpose in honoring prominent women.

NFWC Plaque
The Plaque and How it Got Here