By Chelsea Hackney, Student Reporter
If students are impressed with the Parade of Flags during Opening Chapel each fall, ACU’s latest landscaping proposal will turn heads. To improve the aesthetics of the campus and demonstrate the diversity of the student body. The administration plans to mount flags, which will symbloize each state or country represented on campus, on the light poles lining the Lunsford Foundation Trail.
The flag project has been a collaborative effort between several offices, notably the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, as well as the Campus Visits Office, Physical Resources and the ACU marketing team. Mary Reyes, the project coordinator, said that in conjunction with these departments, she was tasked with determining how to enhance the campus’ appearance. Development of this initiative has “changed the way we partner together,” she said.
The flags are intended to be a statement about the diversity of the campus in line with the strategic initiatives for ACU’s 21st Century Vision, Reyes said.
The Vision states that “by 2020, ACU will become the premier university for the education of Christ-centered, global leaders,” according to the ACU Web site.
Specifically, the Lunsford Trail project will demonstrate that ACU is expanding its Christian influence worldwide and will continue to do so in the future, Reyes said.
The display also will garner attention from prospective students.
With a total of 119 poles alongside the Lunsford Trail, the presentation will “quickly communicate a message about the diversity of the campus,” Reyes said.
“We saw this done on other campuses, and it was a beautiful representation of the student body.” Reyes said the biggest issue was the sheer size of the venture.
“It’s exciting. We can’t make it happen fast enough,” she said. “Who knew that each light pole had a number?”
While no donor base existed for this undertaking, funds already have been set aside in the budget that finances plans intended to help ACU realize its goal. Reyes said the committee hopes the venture will be completed by the end of the calendar year, but many details still need to be worked out, including how to actually hang the banners.
Other questions yet to be answered deal with the size of the banners, which banners should go on which poles and whether or not to retain the country or state flags of graduating students.
Reyes said she believes alumni flags should remain hanging on campus as a statement to former students that the university values the contributions they made while here.
The flags should represent “who we have been and who we are,” she said. “A lot of people don’t realize how diversified our campus is. We feel like these are things that provide another avenue for reflecting who we are.”