“She Gave Us Wings”, better known as the “Dancer Statue”, was created by Texas Woman's University alumna Rosanne Keller and dedicated to the University on April 11, 2003 during the Homecoming ceremony. The statue was created to memorialize Dr. Anne Schley Duggan, Dean of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The statue is located on the lawn south of the TWU Institutional Development Building off Bell Avenue and just walking distance from Blagg-Huey Library. This bronze statue was commissioned by the Kinesiology Chapter Committee in 2001. The University asked Rosanne Keller to create a statue that would memorialize the late Dr. Anne Schley Duggan as well as encompass the students and what the University stands for. The statue represents strength and unity among the students and the staff attending Texas Woman’s University.
Backstory and Context
Dr. Anne Schley Duggan was a professor and Dean at Texas Woman’s University for more than 30 years,from 1939 to 1973. She was a key leader in the dance community and integrated dance into the physical education program at the University. Dr. Duggan obtained her Ph.D. at Columbia University, being a prominent teacher of Dance at the University of Massachusetts, the University of Toronto, and the Margaret Eaton school of Dance. Dr. Duggan published many books about dance and physical education. She held many high honors such as President of the American Association for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. Dr. Duggan was the first woman in the United States to be named Dean of HPER. Dr. Anne Schley Duggan passed away on September 19, 1973 just shortly after her retirement from Texas Woman’s University.
Dr. Duggan was a dynamic individual and made her students feel as if they could achieve anything and everything they set their mind and hearts to. She made them feel as if there “was no ceiling.” Rosanne Keller the artist of the statue spoke in an interview about Dr. Duggan and her inspiration on the bronze. Keller stated “Dr. Duggan was a dynamic person…just seeing her walk across campus gave me some sense of her personality, I decided that my sculpture would be a portrait, not of Dr. Duggan but of all the young women who learned about body movement and dance as well as how to dress and how to be a lady under her tutelage. This piece is so significant and I feel that it is important to bring to light the legacy that Dr. Duggan left on so many students back then and even today”. Keller explained that the statue is supposed to embody the “love of movement, love of dance, love of life, love of being young, and love of flowing into the future".1
Rosanne Keller was a graduate from Texas Woman’s University in 1959 and held a Bachelor’s of Science degree in speech pathology, a master’s degree in English from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in monastic studies from Saint John’s University. Keller has sculpting work on display throughout the United Kingdom and the United States. In 1993 she was commissioned to create a ceramic piece of the Buddha and eight ritual vessels for the Dalai Lama. Many of her sculptures can be seen in places such as St. Deiniol’s Library, St. Bueno’s Jesuit Retreat Center in Wales and St. Cloud Children’s Home in Minnesota. She is also a published author and has many well-known works such as A Summer All Her Own, and texts for literacy programs. Rosanne Keller passed away on February 20, 2012.
Campus Art. "Campus Art." Bachelor of Science (BS) with a Major in Nursing - Texas Woman's University.. . Accessed February 27, 2019. https://twu.edu/library/womans-collection/collections/university-archives/university-history/campus-art/.
The Saint John's Bible.. Saintjohnsbible.org.. . Accessed February 27, 2019. http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/promotions/process/people_rosanne_keller.htm.
1"Statue Unveiling Marks Kinesiology's 100 years.." The Lasso(Denton)April 11, 2003.
An “In Memoriam” Tribute to Two Outstanding Lenders of Our Profession, Pust Presidents of the AAHPER, Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, 45:1, 21-24
Houston, R. (2019). The Society of Folk Dance Historians (SFDH) - Ron Houston. [online] Sfdh.us. Available at: https://sfdh.us/encyclopedia/houston_r.html [Accessed 8 May 2019].
Twu.edu. (2019). Campus Art - Texas Woman's University. [online] Available at: https://twu.edu/library/womans-collection/collections/university-archives/university-history/campus-art/ [Accessed 8 May 2019].