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Visitor Features at UA BookStores, SUMC
If you haven’t been on campus for a while, our new store has some pretty amazing highlights that you may be interested in:
THE SHIP—THE STUDENT UNION
Stand back for a moment and take a look at the new Student Union Memorial Center (SUMC) from a distance. The building, constructed in 2003, was designed to mirror the U.S.S Arizona. A variety of sculptures pepper the premises, decorating the air with the chimes of dog tags or the colors of refracted light in honor of those who have served.
The UA BookStores flagship store is located at the heart of SUMC on the ground level adjacent to the Rotunda, a spiraling stairway reaching three stories upwards with four giant relief sculptures on the support columns, each honoring one of the branches of the military. Water trickles from a pool down two giant anchor chains to the lower level where plaques host the individual names of UA students and alumni lost in World War II or the Vietnam or Korean Wars.
The Student Union Memorial Center is an architectural highlight on campus—not for it’s utility (housing not only the BookStores, but offices, eateries and meeting rooms), but for the metaphoric glimpse it provides into our past, remembering those Wildcats that we have lost in the line of duty.
The Emergence Staircase is the large metal staircase in the middle of UA BookStores, SUMC that transports customers and visitors from the main level to the lower level. It also transports those who are paying attention through the timeline of regional Native American history, beginning on the lower level with a graphical representation of the creation of the world and rising up to the main level representing current day. Icons cut into the walls on the perimeter of the staircase carry important cultural significance to Arizona’s Native American tribes and nations and highlight important components of the learning experiences of these cultures, including astronomy, the development of the calendar, and storywriting. The collection of icons in this single sculpture celebrates the role Native American cultures have played in the history of The University of Arizona and their legacy of learning and knowledge. Emergence was designed by UA alumn Gerald Dawavendewa with workmanship by T.A. Caid.
INTERNATIONAL FLAG DISPLAY
When you first come into UA BookStores, SUMC, be sure to look up. The International Flag Display, set against a cloudy sky mural of the main BookStore, is updated annually with the flags of every nation represented in the UA student body. The BookStores’ Flag Display is the largest in the State of Arizona and serves as an ever-changing reminder, not only of the immense diversity that makes UA great, but that international students are attracted to UA because of its incredible academic and research-based offerings. We are truly honored to have so many young and talented scholars traverse the world to attend our institution.