FLORENCE, Ala. – It was a shocking sight when a surveillance camera captured the moment the iconic Harrison Fountain on UNA’s campus partially collapsed Wednesday morning. Faculty say the collapse happened just after 10 a.m. Nearly half of the bottom bowl can be seen crumbling as it falls into the base with debris flying out.
“It’s a keystone place to our campus,” said Michael Gautney, Assistant VP for Facilities, Administration, and Planning. “It’s one of the first things you see when you come on campus, so it’s a very important part of student life on campus.”
At the beginning of each Fall semester, students participate in the “lucky dip,” a tradition where students dip a pencil into the fountain for good luck on assignments. Another tradition is “Light the Fountain,” a campus community event celebrating the coming of spring weather and the second half of the spring academic term.
Gautney says he believes weather played a role in the fountain’s collapse. Thankfully, no one was near the fountain at the time.
The late Laura Harrison and her husband Donald donated the Italian limestone fountain to the university in 2002. Plans are underway to reconstruct it.