News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 27, 2012

Buttonwood sculpture symbolic of ISU, Scott College

Dave Taylor
Indiana State University

TERRE HAUTE — There is plenty of symbolism behind a new sculpture in front of Indiana State University’s Federal Hall, the former Federal Building in downtown Terre Haute that serves as the new home for the university’s Scott College of Business.

“Under the Buttonwood,” a stone carving of a buttonwood leaf, commemorates a 1792 meeting beneath a buttonwood tree on Wall Street in New York City where 24 stockbrokers signed an agreement establishing the New York Stock Exchange.

“Buttonwood trees are now more commonly known in the U.S. as sycamores, which are featured in the state song of Indiana and, of course, serve as the nickname of Indiana State’s athletic teams,” said Brien Smith, dean of the Scott College of Business. “Just as this sculpture commemorates the birth of Wall Street as the hub of world financial markets, it also commemorates the dawn of a new era for the Scott College and a new foundation in learning made possible by this beautifully renovated facility.”

An anonymous gift to the ISU Foundation made the sculpture by Tell City artist Greg Harris possible.

“This is philanthropy at its finest: a generous gift made without concern for personal recognition for the purpose of giving back to an alma mater,” said Jack Fox, director of development with the Indiana State University Foundation. “The fact that the stone was pulled from the same quarry from which the Federal Building was built, the rich story of the Buttonwood Agreement, and its creator being an Indiana native, makes this a truly meaningful gift to Indiana State.”

For years to come, Fox said, many Scott College of Business graduates will likely pose beside the statue with family and friends at commencement.