“Mayo Ancestors” Statue at Mayo Clinic’s Phoenix Campus #ThrowbackThursday

In December 2015, the bronze statue, "Mayo Ancestors,” featuring William Worrall Mayo, M.D., and sons William Mayo, M.D., and Charles Mayo, M.D., was unveiled in a dedication ceremony in the Heritage Plaza on the Phoenix campus.

Glenna Goodacre, the sculptor from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who created the statue, was in attendance at the dedication ceremony amid a crowd of Mayo benefactors, leadership, and stakeholders. Goodacre is recognized for her many high-profile works, including the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the Irish Memorial at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

The benefactor-commissioned statue features the nine-foot-tall Mayo founders in a back-to-back configuration, intended to represent the three-fold mission of Mayo Clinic: Practice, Education, and Research.

The benefactors who funded the statue are Paulette and Joseph Maslick of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Laree Perez, also of Scottsdale. According to the Maslicks, the location of the statue is intentional—to provide a “space for reflection, away from the hospital hustle and bustle,” and allow patients to “look up and know they are not alone.” Notes Perez, “When we embarked on this expedition, we didn’t know what form it was going to take. We relied on Glenna for this. We explained to her the feelings we wanted the sculpture to convey, that it should embrace Mayo’s history, and that it should be touchable. We were hoping it would also provide a place for respite for patients and staff alike.”

“We thank our benefactors, Laree Perez, and Paulette and Joe Maslick, for their vision, determination, tenacity, and generosity for bringing the Mayo family back to Arizona, their beloved winter home,” says Wyatt Decker, M.D., Vice President, Mayo Clinic.

The “Mayo Ancestors” sculpture is the first statue on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus.

At the dedication event, Matt Dacy, Development, who is the Director of Mayo Clinic’s Heritage Hall, noted that, with the unveiling of Arizona’s statue, “We are honoring history, and we are creating history.”

Goodacre and her team spent several months researching the Drs. Mayo and perusing archival photos and materials to study their physical features, personalities, famous quotes, and life experiences, with the goal of creating a sculpture where the figures were lifelike and accurate.

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.