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Official Unveiling: MAA's Commemorative River of Bricks

The brick paths that traverse the courtyard in front of the MAA's Carriage House Conference Center in Washington, D.C., represent the confluence of two bodies of water that help define the District of Columbia: the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers. On Nov. 1, 2007, these pathways took on additional significance with the official unveiling of the Paul R. Halmos Commemorative Walk.

MAA Executive Committee and staff members prepare for the unveiling of the first 100 bricks (left), and MAA President Joe Gallian does the honors (right).

The nearly 1370 bricks that now pave the paths will gradually be replaced by bricks inscribed with the names and memories of those close to the MAA. The first 100 commemorative bricks have now been put into place, and they already tell all kinds of stories.

  • Each member of the MAA's Executive Committee has a brick.
  • John Kenelly bought seven bricks, one for each member of his family.
  • Six MAA sections have purchased bricks (only 23 more to go!).
  • Five current MAA employees who worked for former Executive Director Al Wilcox purchased a brick in his honor.
  • Individual members, colleges, universities, and various organizations with ties to the MAA are all now part of the commemorative walk.

A worker in the process of laying the first 100 bricks in the Halmos Walk

A generous donation in 2003 by Paul and Virginia Halmos made the restoration and renovation of the Carriage House possible. The MAA is now raising funds to support the Conference Center and its activities. For just $303 (to honor Paul Halmos' birthday on March 3), anyone can have a name or dedication inscribed on a brick to become a part of MAA history.

Development Manager Lisa Kolbe noted that the bricks will be laid in sets of 100 until the walk is completely full. The second set of 100 is almost ready to be put down.

The response by members thus far has been great, Kolbe said. "I've had nothing but very positive reactions from everybody who has seen the walk so far."

If you're visiting Washington, D.C., please stop by MAA headquarters, take a look at the new Carriage House Conference Center, and stroll the Paul R. Halmos Commemorative Walk.—R. Miller

News Date: 
Wednesday, November 14, 2007