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2005 Senior Class Gift…Why The Wait?

The 2005 Senior Class Gift, which for the past year has looked more like a construction zone than a piece of fine art, is nearly complete.

The installation– formally known as the Student Life Promenade— consists of five cement pillars lining a sidewalk on the side of the HUB facing College Ave. The pillars depict various images of student life at Penn State from over the past 150 years of the University’s existence.

The entire project is set to be completed by Friday, April 23 for Blue & White weekend but the nagging question still remains…what took so long?

Jordan Ford, Assistant Director for the Office of Annual Giving, has been an advisor for the program since 2008.

He explained that,

The nature of the gift is what made it take so long. It was a public art piece open to interpretation and it had to be put through many approvals.

Ford added that the project had to wait until the class had collected the necessary amount of funds, which wasn’t until 2006.

Ford said that finding a capable artist and developing a plan for what would be depicted took time as well. “We wanted it to show the ups and downs and all the experiences of student life, that was the most important thing.”

The actual process of making the pillars was no small feat either. Bill Culbertson, the artist behind the project, first had to make perfect clay molds of the pillars, then rubber molds, and finally the concrete pillars themselves.

Finally nearing the debut date, Ford has been happy with the final appearance of the project. “The artist did an awesome job and it’s a very unique and specialized product,” he said. “We wanted to make sure the end result was good. We didn’t want to rush it through and have it look like crap.”

Judging by what is now an almost the finished product, the extra time and care spent was well worth it.

[Photo: Laura Waldhier of Penn State Public Information]

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