YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Those walking on Youngstown State University’s campus will now have new artwork to view.
YSU President Jim Tressel and John Irving unveiled three new statues at a dedication ceremony on YSU’s campus Wednesday. The bronze statues were donated by Irving, a graduate of YSU.
“Girl on Bench Reading with Cat” is located near Tod Hall, dedicated by Irving in memory of his wife, Daneen Julio Irving.
“Break Time (Two Children on a Log)” will be located in McKay Court near the Beeghly College of Education, dedicated by John and Daneen Irving in memory of Edward and Ruth Irving, John’s parents.
“Two Children on a Bench,” located near Fedor Hall and the Rich Center for Autism, was dedicated by Daneen and John Irving in memory of Daniel and Josephine Julio, Daneen’s parents.The statues were produced by the Large Art Company.
Two of the works were selected on the advice of Greg Moring, chair of YSU’s art department, and Irving selected the third.
“We thank John for this special gift that enhances the beauty and culture of our campus,” Tressel said. “These statues will serve as a lasting legacy of the love that John and his late wife, Daneen, have for Youngstown and YSU.”
Irving said he hopes the statues add to the beauty of campus.
“It was really done as much for the students as for the people that I love,” he said. “I thought it was something that would add a little something to the campus that isn’t here right now.”
Irving, a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Youngstown, earned a bachelor’s degree from YSU in 1966. Upon graduation, he received a Youngstown Community Chest scholarship and went on to earn a master’s degree in social work from the University of Hawaii in 1968.
He was executive director of the North Area Mental Health Services in Columbus for six years. He then moved to Atlanta to work for Nationwide Insurance as a sales executive and consultant for 23 years, retiring in 2004.