“It started with an art review assignment in Professor Hayes’ Honors College Composition class during my freshman year,” reminisced Evan DeFalco, senior biology/pre-medicine major. It was an assignment that sparked an idea for DeFalco that transpired into what is now the vibrant mural found along A.J.’s Way.
In October, the Gannon community celebrated the culmination of a three-year class project that involved nearly a hundred students in Gannon’s Honors Program who made possible their idea for a mural on campus that symbolizes the history and character of Gannon University.
“For me it’s a lot about inspiration,” said Ryan Micsky, Honors Program vice-chair. “When you start out on a project that’s as big as this, you might not expect it to come to fruition; but through a lot of hard work and perseverance anybody can accomplish their dreams.”
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The students conducted extensive research and proposals to acquire the resources and support they needed to make their idea a reality. Enlisting the creative talent of local muralist Ehren Knapp, the students worked alongside the artist and members of the Gannon community to develop artwork reflective of key attributes of Gannon University.
“There’s something so magical about being part of something that is bigger than where you are at the time..."
The mural includes a myriad of academic, athletic and student engagement representation, and includes imagery of the University’s founder, as well as both its campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania and Ruskin, Florida.
“I’m full of astonishment, admiration and gratitude for each day I’ve had chances to connect lessons on writing, research and the potential impact of art to Gannon’s campus,” said Carol Hayes, English instructor and faculty member who led and supported the students in their endeavors.
Professor Carol Hayes addresses the Gannon community during the dedication.
“There’s something so magical about being part of something that is bigger than where you are at the time, and everybody in all the classes knew that,” said Hayes. “They knew that they were working on something that if it ever really happened, they’ve left their mark.”
Honors Program Chair Morgan Grzegorzewski agreed with Hayes. “We are excited that this mural will be a lasting piece of our experience at Gannon University with the Honors Program.”