SPRINGFIELD'S SCULPTURES,            Carl and Roberta Volkmann
MONUMENTS, AND PLAQUES              cvolk@aol.com
Educational Institutions
A plaque honoring a black Labrador retriever is found on a small grassy knoll
beneath a dogwood tree between the Public Affairs Center and Brookens
Library at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS).  Yoda, the highly trained
support dog of Myrna Felix, had been an integral part of campus life during the
three years that Myrna was a full time student at UIS.  Afflicted with muscular
dystrophy, Myrna is wheelchair bound. Yoda attended all of her classes pulling
her chair, picking things up for her, and opening doors.

At the May, 1996, graduation ceremonies Yoda (sporting a cap) and Myrna
were the marshals for the English Department.  Myrna received her master’s
degree, and Yoda accepted a certificate. Then on September 30, 1997, just a
few days before his tenth birthday, Yoda was killed by a hit and run driver.

Myrna expressed a desire to have a tree planted on campus in Yoda’s memory
to her friend Nancy Stump, then head of the UIS library loan department. Nancy
remembered Yoda as a Frisbee partner and crafty food seeker.  She obtained
permission to plant the tree and then funded the plaque beneath the tree.  

The plaque reads: “This tree is planted in memory of Yoda for exceptional and
devoted service to his companion, Myrna Felix.  Yoda’s spirit will stand forever
at my heels and in the hearts of all who loved him.”