Matilda Dodge Wilson Statue Unveiled at Homecoming

A life-sized, bronze statue of Oakland University (OU) founder Matilda Dodge Wilson was unveiled near the walkway between the Oakland Center and South Foundation Hall during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend activities.

The original idea came from the class of 2010 and began as a Senior Class Gift project. However, the class was unable to fund the creation and the project had to be shelved for the time being.

Bronze Statue holding a shovel with yellow Mum flowers in pots circle the statue

Matilda Dodge Wilson Statue

“As the university’s 50th reunion for the classes of the 1960s began organizing, a small group of reunion committee members thought it would be a wonderful project to complete,” said Kelly Brault, director of Annual Giving for University Advancement. “Many of these alumni we were meeting during the planning had personally known Matilda and even spent considerable time with her at Meadow Brook Hall events in those early years.”

The Oakland University Alumni Association Board also joined the effort as funding neared completion and made finishing the statue a project of theirs, giving generously to help turn this nearly decade-long idea into reality.

Brault said everyone involved along the way agreed that, “We wanted to portray Matilda as true-to-life as possible and thanks to all the alumni feedback and photos provided by Meadow Brook Hall, she’s accurately portrayed – from her height, to her clothing, to her signature pearl necklace.”

The statue’s sculptor is renowned Chicago-area artist Lou Cella. Recently recognized as the 2018 Sport Artist of the Year by the American Sport Art Museum and Archives, he has created notable statues all across the country. He has also created several local ones, including statues of Ernie Harwell, Al Kaline and other Detroit Tigers baseball players featured at Comerica Park. Cella is currently an instructor and artist affiliated with the Rotblatt/Amrany Studio of Fine Art in Highwood, Illinois.

About Rochester Media

Rochester Media publishes The Community Edge digital newsletter of recently posted articles from Rochester Media, a hyper-local news outlet covering all things in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township. Send us you press releases and news happenings to

Speak Your Mind