About the Scholars Walk

Scholars Walk, a prominent pathway spanning nearly 2,200 feet, celebrates the research and classroom accomplishments of the University of Minnesota’s award-winning faculty, alumni, and students. It is lined with 40 bur oak trees, lighted monuments, and includes the Wall of Discovery, a 253-foot-long artistic tribute to the process that leads to great moments of discovery. 

Honoring significant contributions

University of Minnesota faculty, alumni, and students who are highlighted in Scholars Walk were determined by planners and a special faculty committee, led by Professor Victor Bloomfield, and are recipients of prestigious national and international awards for research, scholarship, and creative activity, as well as recipients of competitive University awards.

Scholars Walk stretches from Walnut Street near the McNamara Alumni Center west to Appleby Hall and Pleasant Street and is the major east-west walkway on the East Bank campus, complementing the beautiful Northrop Mall which runs north-south. 

It was the vision of Warren Ibele, retired professor of mechanical engineering, and Clint Hewitt, associate vice president for master planning, as a way to mark the University’s 150th anniversary in 2000, designed by landscape architect Gary Fishbeck of Hammel, Green, and Abrahamson, constructed by M. A. Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis, and Wall of Discovery and kiosk lighting solutions were created by Nordquist Sign Co. of Minneapolis. First phase construction, from Walnut Street to Union Street, was completed in 2004, with the second phase, to Church Street, and then across the Mall to Pleasant Street and Appleby Hall, was completed in mid-2006. 

Enabling a prominent memorial

Scholars Walk and the nearby Alumni Wall of Honor are gifts to the University from the University of Minnesota Foundation, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, and the Minnesota Medical Foundation. This partnership worked to build and now operates the McNamara Alumni Center. Both areas are entirely funded through private giving, principally through the generosity of the late Carlyle E. Anderson, ’32, whose charity also made possible the recognition of major donors to the university in the McNamara Alumni Center. Anderson was among the founders of the University of Minnesota Foundation and its first president. After a distinguished business career in the Chicago area, he was awarded the university’s Outstanding Achievement Award in 1959.