The circular, amphitheatre-style Jonsson Fountain and surrounding plaza (including a second fountain outside Ida Green Communication Center) were a gift in 1972 from Margaret and Erik Jonsson, a trustee of the College who was a former Dallas mayor and a founder of Texas Instruments. The board named the Margaret Jonsson Plaza and Fountains in honor of Margaret’s development of beautification projects in Dallas and North Texas. The fountains and plaza provided a pleasant environment for many students over the intervening decades, particularly those who claimed a sunny spot around the popular fountain’s decorative brick tiers encircling the 50-foot diameter of the pool.
Suffering some deterioration, the fountain was renovated in May 2017, maintaining the amphitheatre design and leaving the brick tiers unchanged. The pool now is 8 feet smaller due to a circle of rocks that covers a drain system and keeps debris from the water. The fountain project again was completed thanks to the Jonssons. The board of the Margaret Jonsson Family Foundation agreed to match up to $60,000 for modernization of the fountain if the College raised an equal amount—which was accomplished before the work began.
The updated water fountain itself is state of the art, with minicomputers running the fountain’s spray and multi-changing light system. Talley Associates landscape designers of Dallas completed conceptual work for the project; the fountain and lighting were designed by Roman Fountains in Georgia; and general contractor was All Pro Pools and Landscape of Denison, Texas.