Giving direction

Grad helps fund new, more permanent campus signs

By Greg Scheiderer

If you’ve been in the Puget Sound neighborhood lately you probably have noticed the new "monument" signs at main campus entrances and the electronic reader boards that announce campus events. The signs were made possible by a $250,000 gift from Lloyd M. Silver, a 1949 Puget Sound graduate and longtime Tacoma business leader. He made the gift in memory of his late wife, Mary Agnes Gallagher Silver ’48, ’49.

It’s not the first time Silver has been involved with building things at the university. He created and installed the "Logger" reader board at Kittredge Hall in 1948.

"I was a student at the time," Silver recalled, "and it struck me that there was a real need for some way of communicating, and so I came up with the idea for the reader board." He created the design, raised money and got materials donated.

"I built it and had a couple of buddies help me dig the holes and we planted the poles," he said.

With Bob Rinker ’50, Silver also led the drive to build Memorial Fieldhouse. When the building opened he served as its first manager.

Serendipity played a part in Silver’s re-entry into the university signage business. He’d been contemplating a memorial for Mary Agnes at the same time Puget Sound officials needed to replace the dated signs marking campus entry points. Given Lloyd’s involvement with the old Kittredge reader board, it was a natural match.

The new stone monument signs on campus replace less-permanent wooden ones and were built over the spring and summer. The electronic reader boards went online in September. Silver is pleased with them.

"It all came together very beautifully," he said. "I went out and looked at them and they look great; I’m thrilled. So my idea for bringing the news to the students will probably be good for another 100 years."

At the dedication of the signs on September 13, Silver also presented to the Pi Phi sorority the original bronze plaque used by the local chapter, Kappa Sigma Theta. Mary Agnes was president when the local chapter became national.