A campus icon gets a makeover

By wayne.steffen on April 5, 2013 @ 1:46am

Since 1979 Rebecca, the wife of Isaac and mother of Jacob and Esau, has greeted visitors from her spot between Sattler Hall and Marpeck Center. The fountain was the gift of the Dietrich Friesen family to honor Dietrich's 27 years on the music faculty (1952-1979), including 15 years as head of the department.

As befits the recipient of the most famous marriage proposal in the Bible, the fountain has been a traditional spot for young men to pop the question—and for those young men's friends to dunk them once news of the impending nuptials got out. But the years had taken their toll and the mother of the Jewish nation was looking frumpy. So this spring the Friesen family and the 2013 graduating class joined forces to refurbish the fountain and surrounding garden.

A new plaque includes the verses in Genesis describing Rebecca's meeting with Isaac at the well, and dedicates the fountain to both Dietrich, who died in 1988, and wife Anne, who died in 2010. Charity Brown, alumni relations director, oversaw the project with senior-class senators Deanna Haynes and Alexis Ceja as well as two of Dietrich and Anne's sons and their wives: Walter and Loraine "Dolly" Friesen (both PBI '59) and Milton (attended 1971-72) and Bendta Friesen. Milt is an instructor of music at FPU, where he leads the Crosswind vocal/instrumental ensemble.

All Dietrich and Anne's children are FPU alumni: Katherine "Kathy" (Friesen deceased, PBI '57) Robinson, Victor Friesen (deceased, attended 1960-61), Allan O. Friesen (attended 1964-65) and Eugene Friesen attended 1970-71).