Sculpture honors former professor
By Stephanie Salmons Messneger-Inquirer | Posted: Friday, May 9, 2014 12:00 am
Leanne Faulkner's sudden death last August shocked the Kentucky Wesleyan College campus, where she was an associate professor of mathematics for more than a decade.
Faulkner's life and devotion to her students were honored Thursday with the dedication of a sculpture created in her memory.
Former Student Government Association President Dea Brandon said Faulkner's death shook the school.
"She was so young and had done a lot for our school," she said.
Former SGA member Jordan King said the small campus community is like a big family.
"Dr. Faulkner had committed a lot of her time to helping students," King said. That's why the SGA wanted to make the sculpture in her memory.
Given the circumstances, Brandon said the SGA "wanted to do something extra special," so the group commissioned retired KWC professor and Owensboro artist William Kolok to create the stone sculpture.
Kolok said he brought three designs for the SGA to choose from.
The sculpture, near the school's administration building, has a vertical base topped with a large circle that has a hole in the center and a wedge cut out. Another piece of stone is inserted within the wedge, and numbers one through nine are around the circle.
"Mathematical logic and order seem to be, at first glance, the opposite of creativity and sculpture. But as we think about Dr. Faulkner and her dedication to her students and her strong interest in her field, we realize that the two fields are not only compatible but also closely related," Kolok said. "With this in mind, we see the circle as the continuum of life. A disc with currents of repeating waves is interrupted only by another disc. These two forms work together to complete the whole."
That, he said, is the creative and logic in everyone. Kolok hopes the piece will "grow to be an element you remember when you go to Kentucky Wesleyan. I hope it brings honor and respect to professor Faulkner and all the faculty at Kentucky Wesleyan."
"Leanne loved this school, her fellow faculty and staff and especially her students," her husband, Brian Faulkner, said in a written statement. "She poured her heart into not only being an educator but into being a mentor to her students, both in their academic careers and in their lives. This is a great honor for her, and she would be very proud."
Faulkner was a Portland, Tenn., native. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville and her doctorate from the University of Kentucky.
She died Aug. 30 at the age of 41 and is survived by her husband and two children.