Celebrating a Century of Service in Tulsa
While the year 2015 marks the centennial of the world’s seventh largest Rotary Club, the celebrating in Tulsa has already begun.
The goal was to call attention to Tulsa’s volunteer spirit and Rotary’s role in our community and around the world. The result: five bronze sculptures, beautifully displayed on a landscaped plaza of granite, located in a high-profile setting between the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, the Hyatt Regency Hotel, City Hall and Williams Center.
The project was conceived in 2007 – eight years before the centennial of the founding of the Rotary Club of Tulsa. The cost: $1 million – the largest project undertaken by the “downtown” Rotary club. The entire project has been funded by the club and its generous members.
The sculptures were created by noted Tulsa artists Jay O’Meilia and David Nunneley. Each of the individual bronzes sit on a granite pedestal that is inscribed with a message about the sculpture. Additionally, visitors can view a monument that provides a brief history of Tulsa and the story of this community’s emergence as America’s Most Generous City®.
On the plaza, granite benches welcome visitors and lunchtime downtown workers. Princeton elms provide a backdrop to the sculptures while dramatic landscape lighting illuminates the bronzes at night.
Ground was broken on Rotary Plaza on August 17, 2011 and the gift of public art was dedicated on April 25, 2012 by Ray Klinginsmith, immediate past president of Rotary International.
A 12-foot bronze globe symbolizes Rotary’s worldwide presence with 33,000 clubs in more than 220 countries and geographical areas. It signifies (1) Tulsa’s international reach through local businesses, charities and ministries; and (2) Rotary International’s presence as the world’s largest service organization, with 1.2 million community volunteers.
A bronze figure of a Rotarian mentoring a Celia Clinton Elementary student. This sculpture salutes Tulsa volunteers who contribute thousands of hours serving the community.
World Peace Through Education & Understanding
A bronze figure of a high school student, carrying a book and wearing a backpack. This sculpture reflects the various international scholarship programs of Rotary and the hundreds of Rotary Youth Exchange students who travel to and from Tulsa.
Freedom From Polio
A bronze figure of a running girl, tossing her crutches aside. This sculpture reflects Rotary’s quest to eliminate polio from the earth.
Drinkable Water for all
A bronze figure of a Nicaraguan woman carrying water from a well drilled by the Rotary Club of Tulsa and its partners. This continuing international project supports Rotary International’s goal of providing drinkable water to all in impoverished nations.
Rotary Plaza is located along Third Street, between Main and Boston Streets, on the southwest corner of Williams Center Green.
For more information, please contact the Rotary Club of Tulsa office, 918-584-7642. The club’s office is located at 616 S Boston Ave, Ste 410, Tulsa OK 74119.