Jane Cox is an unusually talented woman as many people have expressed and one that deserves significant recognition for her contribution to the arts. Her recent accomplishment of "Yellow Rose of Suffrage" showed once again Jane's whole and involved commitment toward any theater production be it large or small. Her extensive research thoughtful consideration when writing and exhaustive rehearsals have paid off in this production that is now drawing national attention. I know I am not the only person to speak so highly of Jane's professional efforts and the contribution she has made to the arts to Iowa State University and to women in general by bringing life to the struggle of a right that to us now seems so fundamental. Therefore I want to take this opportunity to shed some light on a side of Jane Cox that many people do not see; namely she is a wonderful aunt.
When I was a child I eagerly looked forward to our yearly trip to "Aunt Jane's". We would kick off the visit with a movie (often a Peter Sellers Pink Panther movie) and my Aunt Jane would remember (word for word) some of the film's funniest lines. She would then weave these lines into the conversation for the next several days probably not unlike a musician creating variations on a theme. Our movies were unquestionably followed by a trip to the Blue Cow Ice Cream store where it was unthinkable not to buy an extra ice cream cone for the dog. During our visits I would often spend hours with her by her closets trying on dresses from faraway places waving fans from "real" gypsies and learning the lyrics to a new Broadway musical.
As I've gotten older Aunt Jane has taught me to appreciate a side of life that I believe needs to be nurtured in all of us that side that lets go of the mundane and mediocre in order to fully embrace the adventures of life. She has taught me through example of the great joy of travel -- not just to the standard places on the All-American travel checklist but to places such as Cairo and Russia. She has always stressed the importance of hard work -- not for money but for self-satisfaction. One of her favorite quotations is "Nothing great was ever achieved in moderation." She has finally made me believe that sometimes the reason for buying a dress is not because you will "get a lot of good out it" but because it makes you feel beautiful. She is to this day the only person I know who spends more money on fresh cut roses than groceries. She has great compassion for those people caught in situations where they are not free to exercise choice -- whether held captive by political boundaries or the boundaries of their own education. But at the same time she has a passionate intolerance for ignorance. She has shown me the therapy in having a nice quiet dinner with a glass of wine. She has helped instill in me a love of chicory coffee Emily Dickinson poetry and Irish lace. As I have combated the Chicago business world Aunt Jane has helped me understand that women can be independent assertive successful business people without giving up their feminine qualities.
Aunt Jane has taught me both through her words as well as through her actions that life is an adventure just waiting to be experienced. I am truly honored to help contribute toward her plaque. Iowa State University is lucky to have her on the staff .. but I feel lucky to have her in the family album. -- Linda K. Bracken
Honored by: Federated Garden Clubs of Iowa