Sundial PlazaAbout the Sundial

The John Garrey Tippit Memorial Sundial is located outside Norlin Library's east entrance. It’s a gift of the John H. Tippit family -- strong supporters of the University and the Libraries -- as a memorial to John Garrey Tippit, a 1969 CU-Boulder graduate who died in a 1970 accident. He was 24 years old.

John had just graduated from CU-Boulder and was looking forward to commencing studies in the fall at the University of Denver Law School. He was working on a construction project, building a dam in Wyoming during the summer. It was supposed to be his day off, but John was working for a friend when a methane explosion tragically ended his life.

Since his death, the family had been looking for a project that would provide a useful and lasting addition to the Boulder campus.

Dedication and groundbreaking took place on May 12, 1995.

The John Garrey Tippit Memorial Sundial is an equatorial sundial located at 40.00825°N latitude, 105.26997°W longitude as approximated by NGS topographic map. The 10,000 pound, rose granite sundial stands five feet high, six feet in diameter and 6.375 inches in thickness. The gnomon shaft is steel, extending from the ground through the dial plate and outward another two feet. It’s designed to be read from the upper surface in Spring/Summer, and from the lower surface in Fall/Winter.

Sundial Plaza quotes etched in stoneSundial Plaza Quotes

Those who spend time studying outside of Norlin Library’s east entrance may notice that there are quotes inscribed on the bricks of the Sundial Plaza:

“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” 
-- Arapaho Traditional Belief

"I change myself, I change the world."
-- Gloria Anzaldua

"The end of all education should surely be service to others."
-- Cesar Chavez

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." 
-- Cicero

"The Truth must dazzle gradually / Or every man be blind." 
-- Emily Dickenson

"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity."
-- Albert Einstein

"A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone."
-- Jo Godwin

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Even the longest journey must begin where you stand."
-- Laozi

"Access to knowledge is the superb, the supreme act of truly great civilizations. Of all the institutions that purport to do this, free libraries stand virtually alone in accomplishing this mission."
-- Toni Morrison