The university’s architectural community revived a proposal that could make the Bucky Dome the first R. Buckminster Fuller memorial on campus.
Fuller taught at SIU for 12 years and wrote more than 30 books and 25 U.S. patents during his tenure. He popularized the geodesic dome structure and was in turn rewarded with achievements.
Fuller was featured on the Jan. 10, 1964 cover of Time magazine for his work with geodesic domes. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award by Ronald Reagan in 1983, which is one of the highest awards given to a civilian for meritorious service.
The Fuller Future Festival is a group dedicated to honoring Fuller’s outstanding life and achievements. The group held a presentation Wednesday that displayed Bucky artifacts to inspire future students.
“I think it is important we get information about Buckminster Fuller out,” said Brent Ritzel, co-director of the Fuller Future Festival. “He is an influential figure in SIU’s past and deserves recognition.”
The Green Fund proposal requests SIU support to purchase and renovate the Bucky Dome, a geodesic dome located on the east side of Quigley Hall. Dome Inc., a company that specializes in geodesic domes, wants to donate the structure if it becomes a memorial, said Jon Davey, a professor of architecture.
Students and faculty said Fuller is a significant figure in SIU history and should be recognized.
“R. Buckminster Fuller is one of the most renowned figures in southern Illinois history, and this would make the Bucky Dome the first memorial of him,” said Joshua West, a junior from Trenton studying architecture.
The Bucky proposal would allow for a new foundation for mulch to be laid for the dome. A memorial plaque would also hang in front of the dome outside of Quigley Hall to commemorate Fuller’s years of service and dedication to the university.
The new proposal would also allow funding for the dome to come from the SIU Green Fund.
Students are charged a $10 fee for the Green Fund every year that helps fund for on-campus energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability projects and research.
The Green Fund has contributed money for campus groups such as the Campus Sustainability Project, Plant and Service Operations and the Student Recreation Center’s Green Team.
Some students wonder why their Green Fund money doesn’t go toward the dome already. Instead of waiting on the university, some students have begun to take the dome funding into their own hands.
A group of undergraduates have begun to create an online Kickstarter program in fear that the bill will not succeed again. The Kickstarter would allow anyone to donate online. However, some faculty do not understand why students should have to take money out of their own pockets.
“It’s surprising that students have to go out and get money when they already are donating towards a fund every year,” Davey said.