New sundial landmark unveiled on campus

Timepiece is a large precision instrument with no moving parts, relying instead on the movements of the Earth around the Sun.

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by Sandy Record
Updated: Monday, May 18, 2015

TCU Sundial designer William Andrewes explains how the timepiece works. Joseph I. O’Neill III of Midland commissioned the timepiece to honor his wife, Marion Jan Donnelly O’Neill. (Photo by Glen E. Ellman)

TCU last week unveiled and dedicated a unique work of functional art, destined to become a campus landmark. It is located on the plaza between Ed Landreth Hall and the Walsh Center for Performing Arts.

The TCU Sundial is a large precision instrument with no moving parts, relying instead on the movements of the Earth around the Sun to tell time to the nearest minute. Joseph I. O’Neill III of Midland commissioned the timepiece to honor his wife, Marion Jan Donnelly O’Neill, a TCU alumna. Both attended the dedication, along with the artist, William Andrewes.

Andrewes, born and educated in England, is a trained clockmaker and designer who takes great pains to combine old and new in the marriage of art and science: the classical elegance of the mid-1700s in the sundial’s design with the latest developments of modern technology in its construction and accuracy.

Each longitude dial Andrewes creates is customized for the precise latitude and longitude of its intended location. The new TCU Sundial honors the University’s specific site, with a world map centered on our coordinates and a time scale created expressly for us.

 

 

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