Clark State Community College’s student senate is one step closer to realizing its goal of creating an outdoor art memorial on the Leffel Lane campus to honor the memory of our nation’s fallen soldiers.
Scott Cody, a member of Clark State’s student senate and an Iraq war veteran brought the project idea to President Jo Alice Blondin, Ph.D., as a way to help veterans on campus feel embraced by the college community. Cody first proposed the idea of the memorial at the end of 2013, and hopes it will serve as a symbol of Clark State’s commitment to its veteran students and campus visitors. The planning committee comprised of students, Foundation volunteers, local art experts and veterans, faculty and staff, hopes to dedicate the memorial on Veteran’s Day this year.
“The memorial project is a gift from the students and our community to veterans both on and off campus so we wanted to have the original design come from our students as well,” said Scott Cody. “More than 50 submissions were entered for consideration and we were blown away by the creativity and thoughtfulness put into each design.”
Veteran students and the members of student senate commented on the designs before turning them over to judges Ann Fortescue, executive director of the Springfield Museum of Art, and Mike Major, a sculptor and artist from Urbana.
Major assembled the final piece using elements from four student designs. The students, all in their second year of the graphic design program, will be recognized with the final art piece, which will be located behind the Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center.
The final design includes the elements of eagle wings, raised hands holding a set of dog tags and a folded American flag. The students who inspired each element include: Adric Avery (wings), Audrey Fletcher (hands holding dog tags), Erica Bunish (flag) and Elizabeth Kimmel (flag).
The next step for the students is a fund-raising campaign. The committee hopes to raise $50,000 to have the piece created and installed with full access and accessibility for all community members.