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The fountain was built with money from a $250,000 trust established by Major George W. Littlefield as a memorial for University of Texas students and alumni who died in The Great War, now commonly known as World War I. It was unveiled in 1933, at a time when the Old Main Building was still in use.
The memorial fountain is enscribed in Latin with BREVIS A NATURA NOBIS VITA DATA EST AT MEMORIA BENE REDDITAE VITAE SEMPITERA. Translation - A short life hath been given by Nature unto man; but the remembrance of a life laid down in a good cause endureth forever. Beneath this enscription is a memorial bronze plaque that lists all UT students and alumni killed in The Great War.
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