Happy BURTH-day to the OHSU fountain

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the fountain in front of OHSU’s Mackenzie Hall.

Donated by the School of Medicine Alumni Association, the fountain was installed in 1963 to mark the 75th anniversary of the University of Oregon Medical School the previous year.

Since its installation, the fountain has been home to ducks and other aquatic wildlife; suffered “furlough” days in times of tight budgets, and been specially activated to celebrate the life of at least one School of Medicine faculty member.

It has been filled with dye and dishwashing liquid, frozen over and paddled in. It has drenched the unwary passer-by on windy days. And for many years you could measure its jet against the peak of Mt. Hood.

But mostly its gentle splashings and oasis-like calm have quietly but memorably permeated the lives of countless thousands in the OHSU community – from stressed students to over-scheduled faculty and from celebrating graduates to patients seeking respite from clinical ordeals.

We think it’s time to say Thank You to the fountain – and to the alumni who donated it – with a Story and Photo competition.

  • Studying on the grass in the spring weather? The location of the first steps in a romance? Post your memories of the fountain as a comment down below.
  • Dig out your historic photos or create a contemporary artistic and send it to alumni@ohsu.edu.
  • Write a poem, limerick or haiku and email it to the same address.

Deadline is August 16. We’ll share some of the best.

And if you happen to pass the fountain this summer, be sure to hum a couple of bars of that familiar song and make a wish. But please, even though it looks like a cupcake, don’t try and blow the candle out.


Mark Kemball and the alumni relations team are proud to count almost 35,000 dentists, nurses, physicians, researchers, technicians and other health professionals as OHSU alumni. The team strives to keep them all connected with the university, with its students and with each other.

You can also follow Mark on Twitter @mark_kemball.

One response to “Happy BURTH-day to the OHSU fountain

  1. Gray Winkler sent us this lovely haiku:

    Hard steel, soft purpose:
    Share peace with those who stop by
    Love from long ago.

    Thanks, Gray!

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