Mural celebrates spirit of Rodriguez scholars

artist paints rodriguez mural
Artist Gonz Jove at work on his mural celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Rodriguez Scholars Program. The painting is located near the Fun Room of the Danforth University Center.

The Washington University in St. Louis community is invited to join current and former Rodriguez scholars at the unveiling of the Annika Rodriguez 20th Anniversary Mural from 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Danforth University Center’s Fun Room. 

Painted by acclaimed local muralist Gonz Jove, the mural invokes the style of Chicanx street art and pays homage to the Latinx roots of the program, which is committed to academic excellence, leadership, service to the community and bringing together diverse communities. 

In that spirit, the mural not only honors the Rodriguez legacy but also other student groups and activists, said Rodriguez scholar Carol Pazos, a senior studying global health and environment in Arts & Sciences. 

“The piece features performers from all of the cultural shows on campus, various community organizers, from Ferguson protestors to historical icons like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, as well as workers and students of color on WashU’s campus,” Pazos said. “The mural represents our shared ideal for the future of WashU, one in which all students are truly included in the process of community building.” 

The unveiling is part of the 20th anniversary celebration, which will draw Rodriguez alumni from across the country. The scholarship is named in honor of an alumna Annika Rodriguez, who earned a bachelor’s degree in international business from the Olin Business School in 1996.

Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, was active with the university’s Association of Latin American Students, serving as its president her senior year, and with Alpha Phi Omega, a national community service organization on campus. She joined the Peace Corps after graduation and was sent to Honduras to aid people living in poverty. She tragically died in Honduras during a flash flood in October 1996.

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