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Donated Statue Keeps Hathaway Legacy Alive at UW

May 6, 2015
woman standing with small bronze statue of man beside her
UW student Sally Rice, from Laramie, stands next to a statue of former Wyoming Gov. Stan Hathaway outside the Student Financial Aid office. Former legislator Russ Zimmer, of Torrington, donated the statue, which is a replica of the original at the Hathaway Building in Cheyenne. (UW Photo)

If it weren’t for the Hathaway Scholarship, University of Wyoming student Sally Rice would not be pursuing a double major.

The Laramie High School graduate is working toward degrees in both criminal justice and physiology.

“The Hathaway Scholarship has paid for my tuition, and that’s always helpful. And, on top of that, it’s been easier to go to school and easier for me to be a double-major student because I am going to be here longer than four years,” Rice says. “The Hathaway is paying for my first four years, and then I will just have to pay only the tuition to finish up the coursework for my two degrees.”

The scholarship is named after former Wyoming Gov. Stan Hathaway, who served from 1967-1975.

In 2005, state lawmakers created a scholarship fund with a $400 million permanent endowment that funds scholarships for qualified Wyoming high school graduates to attend UW or any of the state's seven community colleges. Legislators honored Hathaway's many contributions to the state and accomplishments by naming the scholarship program for him.

To make sure students never forget Hathaway’s legacy, former state legislator Russ Zimmer, from Torrington, donated a replica of a statue of the former governor. The original statue sits in front of the Hathaway Building in Cheyenne.

“I was a member of an organization called the ‘Setting Sons’ that was just a group of men who were especially appreciative of Stan Hathaway and the way he conducted his policies in the office of governor of Wyoming,” Zimmer says. “Our mission was just to honor Stan once a year with a dinner and speaking out about his accomplishments and the success he had with the Wyoming Legislature.”

When Hathaway died, the leaders of the “Setting Sons” had to decide what to do with the organization. Zimmer says the organization decided to create a life-size statue of Hathaway.

Wheatland artist Carl Jensen created the statue of Hathaway and three smaller versions of the original for sale.

“I asked our organization if we should buy two of these statutes to give to Earl Holding, owner of Little America, and one to the University of Wyoming. They approved,” Zimmer says.

The smaller Hathaway statue sits on a pedestal near the Student Financial Aid office in Knight Hall. Sara Axelson, UW vice president for student affairs, says the statue has been in Knight Hall’s lobby since the fall semester, but has been properly displayed on a platform during the spring semester.

“To me, the great part of this story is that we have this statue in Knight Hall symbolizing the forward-thinking leadership of Governor Stan Hathaway. The Legislature followed suit with forward thinking when it created the Hathaway Scholarship Program,” Axelson says. “The Hathaway Scholarship Program supports Wyoming high school graduates in their academic preparation for college and financially assists students choosing UW and Wyoming community colleges. The program has been in place since 2006, and currently we have 3,345 students at UW receiving more than $10 million in Hathaway Scholarship monies.”

Zimmer served 20 years in the Legislature, with two terms in the House of Representatives and 16 years in the Senate. He served as Senate president in 1989-1990.

“I believe the Hathaway Scholarship Program for the students of Wyoming is tremendous. The Wyoming Legislature thought it would be a great thing to appropriate $400 million and, without a doubt, it has been a good investment,” he adds.

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