Laura Laffrado, a professor from Western Washington University, raised over $25,000 to commission a larger-than-life bronze statue to memorialize Ella Rhoads Higginson, author of award-winning fiction, poetry, essays and an inspiration to women throughout the country. She received her first publishing contract in 1896 and continued writing until her passing in 1940. Laffrado set out on a mission to recover and revive Higginson’s legacy and teach her students about her truly unforgettable work.
The university has a deep connection to the late author as she lived in the exact same area. Laffrado explained, “It just ups the ante in this really exciting way when you realize that not only is this a Pacific Northwest writer, but this is a woman whose house was, you know, only yards from where we are talking about her. She is one of ours, and (students) recognize that almost immediately. There’s a sense of ownership that arises pretty quickly.”
The statue was installed by sculptor Matt Glenn in WWU’s library and stands, as Laffrado dreamed, to restore the legacy of the historical writer.