Pond patrons


Brisk winds and cloudy skies were not enough to deter a few dozen guests from gathering to dedicate Botany Pond this past Friday. Acknowledging Julie and J. Parker Hall III’s (X’54) support to restore the pond to its original marsh-like splendor, a new plaque stands at the pond’s north side. President Robert J. Zimmer read the inscription to the crowd: “Botany Pond and Hull Court Restoration / In Grateful Recognition / Julie & Parker Hall / May 2, 2008.”

Joined by family and friends, the Halls were on campus to receive the University of Chicago Medal for distinguished service of the highest order later that evening. The family has a history of service to the University: Parker Hall is a life trustee, his father (PhB'27) served as University treasurer, and his grandfather was the first full-time dean of the Law School (1904–28).

In addition to serving on several campus boards and committees, Julie and Parker Hall have made gifts to the Division of the Humanities and the Laboratory Schools and established the James Parker Hall distinguished service professorship in law and the Julie and Parker Hall endowment for jazz and American popular music.

Through their botanic-garden endowment fund, the Halls supported Botany Pond’s restoration, which began in 2004. Now visitors can enjoy a pond similar to the one seen in pictures from 1910, when it served as an outdoor classroom and laboratory, in addition to being one of the most tranquil and picturesque spots on campus.

Charlotte Robinson

Photos: Parker and Julie Hall enjoy the dedication on Friday; Botany Pond in 2006; The pond in 1910.

Top two photos by Dan Dry; Bottom photo courtesy Special Collections Research Center.

May 7, 2008