UDC News

September 28, 2009


40 Foot Tile Mural Greets UDC Visitors

Octavia Taylor Jackson - UDC Alumni Success Story

Washington, DC - Tens of thousands of ceramic tiles were individually scored and then reassembled as part of a 40 foot mural that covers nearly 40 steps in the University of the District of Columbia’s administration building. It’s the work of art professor Marcela Noriega and her partner Suzanne Moe, who worked months on the design and even incorporated student insight and labor in installing the giant mural.

In unveiling the tile mural, UDC System President Dr. Allen L. Sessoms was awestruck at the overwhelming feeling of uplift one gets upon entering the main building.

“It’s a symbolic statement of the direction of our institution,” said Dr. Sessoms. “The Firebird is rising, and all of Washington, DC will soon be a part of this movement.”

The mural depicts two facing Firebirds surrounded by swirls of color. It is designed to inspire a feeling of upward movement as students ascend the stairs toward their goals in higher education.



The University of the District of Columbia is the only fully-accredited public institution of higher education in the nation’s capital. As an urban land-grant university, it supports a broad mission of education, research and community service and offers bachelors and masters degrees in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The university is located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington DC, and is conveniently located at the Van Ness/UDC stop on the Red Line of Metro. 

Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs, aetter@udc.edu, 202.345.6371