Doing something that has never been done before, such as bringing a Ferris Wheel to the Quad, is what defines pioneering. I think of other wheels involving handcarts and the vision and fortitude they required.
We explore the traits and achievements of pioneers in this issue by grabbing hold of the spokes that are our professors, students, and alumni. In particular, we keep a keen eye on the women of Utah State who dare to dream and act on their aspirations, as we celebrate the university’s Year of the Woman.
“Make no little plans,” said Daniel Burnham, who oversaw the creation of the 1893 Chicago Fair. Our university was in its infancy when he challenged someone to one-up the grandiose wrought iron Eiffel Tower built for the 1889 world’s fair in Paris. Ideas followed, but Burnham belittled them “for their failure of imagination.” Come up with “something novel, original, daring, and unique,” he chided them. George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., 33, an engineer from Pittsburgh, did just that.
If a Ferris Wheel on the Quad, like the one we saw in August, should become a new tradition, credit our persistent student government pioneers. They blazed the trail and brought something out of the ordinary onto a campus that spins with equal splendor. For there is something about a Ferris Wheel that captures the imagination and speaks of the students and professors who walk the Quad with frequency. There is something about the feeling of the late-summer sun on your skin and the sight of Old Main and the Wellsville Mountains as they sink and rise, sink and rise, with every turn of the giant wheel. It is a reminder that school is not just about the books and classes, but about the ride itself, and those with whom you share it. It is about the ups and downs that you can expect with every revolution marking every new semester, and a reminder of how quickly it ultimately passes.