Boy and Girl

Boy fidgeting while pretending to study but looking at girlThe idea for these figures first came to Christian Petersen around 1942 while he was looking at the bare pedestals which had been gathering dust in the library's lower lobby since 1925. Unsightly electric wires protruded from the bases which the architects had designed for light fixtures that were never installed. Petersen outlined his idea for stone figures to then president Charles E. Friley who gave him permission to proceed with the work in 1943. The result the next year was a pair of students, male and female, ostensibly studying with books in their laps, but fully aware of each other as they exchange glances across the landing of the stairwell. Petersen's humor may be seen in the fidgeting foot of the male student.

Sculpture of girl student looking across at boy

Sculpture of girl glancing slightly toward boy