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Pioneers In Bronze

Pioneer Wall memorializes campus leaders.

UNLV History  |  Jul 7, 2010  |  By Cate Weeks

A centerpiece of Pioneer Wall is the bust of pioneering education advocate Maude Frazier. (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Miguel Rodriguez's centerpiece for the Pioneer Wall memorial captured a woman of her time: Maude Frazier in her ubiquitous cat's-eye glasses, button earrings, and closely cropped hair. But she's hardly dated, he says.

"Doing this project, I learned a lot about people like Maude and what a debt we owe them and their relevance in our community even now," says Rodriguez, '04 MFA.

The first woman to head a Nevada public school system, Frazier was instrumental in establishing what would become known as UNLV. Pioneer Wall was built around a fragment of the original Maude Frazier Hall, UNLV's first building. It also includes Rodriguez's bronze portraits of James R. Dickinson, the first faculty member and administrator here; and Donald C. Moyer, who as president led efforts to win autonomy from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Visit the memorial at the main entrance to campus at Maryland Parkway and Harmon Avenue. Rodriguez's work can also be found at Clark County Wetlands Park, which commissioned him to do large concrete sculptures of a beaver, toad, and snake.