Gannon University Celebrates Completion of Symbolic Mural on Campus

Posted: October 20, 2017

Gannon University held a celebration event Friday, Oct. 20 in recognition of the completion of a symbolic mural on campus representing the many facets of the University's history, campus life and its Mission.

The celebration event brought together members of the Gannon and Erie communities to hear from the students and faculty who helped in bringing the mural to campus, and were part of the origin of the idea as part of an Honors College Composition class taught by Carol Hayes, instructor in Gannon's English department.

"In Fall 2014, in a freshman honors College Comp class, I was taken aback when in the middle of a discussion about a traditional assignment, a student called out: 'Let's propose doing a Mural on AJ's Way,'" said Hayes. "Since then, freshmen honors students in English class after English class, and in a first-year seminar, have demonstrated creativity, curiosity and a knowledge of how to engage others in dreams. A traditional College Comp assignment of proposal writing became something greater."

"Professor Hayes and her later Honors College Composition classes continued to work on the mural each year to make this hypothetical thought turn into a beautiful reality," said Evan DeFalco, senior student who proposed the mural idea to his class.

The mural, located between W. Seventh and Eighth streets along the path of the University's A.J.'s Way, was created by Ehren Knapp, a local resident and well-known muralist in Erie. The mural portrays a myriad of academic, athletic and student engagement representation, and includes imagery of the University's founder, Archbishop John Mark Gannon, as well as both its campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania and Ruskin, Florida.

"We are extremely grateful for Professor Hayes and her perseverance of this project," said Ryan Micsky, Honors Program vice-chair. "She has had her different honors courses participate in this project, thus involving a hundred students in the process of getting this mural on AJs Way."

"We would like to thank the Honors Program and students for all of their hard work in not just creating an idea, but seeing it through to the end," said Morgan Grzegorzewski, Honors Program Chair. "We are excited that this mural will be a lasting piece of our experience at Gannon University with the Honors Program."

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