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Walking Down Lanes of Memories

March 31, 2020

By Maggie O’Donnell ‘20

Perhaps while walking around Mount Union, you’ve stumbled upon someone’s mark on campus – a brick. In past years, graduating seniors have had the opportunity to leave a personalized brick on campus. Scattered across campus, the most concentrated areas include: the campus lakes, the outdoor basketball court, McMaster Hall, Chapman Hall, and the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex. 

After reaching out to alumni, we began to grasp a greater understanding of these legacies left behind.

Kristi (McCamon ’05) Valentine commented about her brick referencing the fact that she is the 11th Purple Raider to graduate from her family. 

“My great-grandfather graduated in 1912,” said Valentine. “My grandparents met there, and my grandma, who is turning 97, still remembers seeing my grandpa for the first time at a basketball game in Memorial Hall.” 

Valentine stated that she and her brother wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for Mount Union.

Jacky Pfenninger ’14 explained how her brick about surfing is a metaphor for life.

“There are a lot of ups and downs in life and we fall a lot, but we always get back out there and try again,” said Pfenninger. “We learn to ride the waves of life.” 

Pfenninger studied abroad while at Mount Union in Bilbao, Spain and is now established in Geneva, Switzerland, continuing to go on surfing trips annually.

Some bricks on campus provide humor in a more personal way. Nik Barkley ’16 explained how in being a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and attending Mount Union, people would always ask him how he dealt with the cold weather.

“I always responded that I love the snow and the cold,” said Barkley. “I did move back to Arizona after graduation, so maybe I didn’t love the snow as much as I thought.”

Other bricks on campus are left in dedication to the people that influenced the experience one had while at Mount Union. Jill (Smith ’05) Longo said that during her junior and senior year, herself and her friends rented a house on Miller Avenue.

“They were and still are an incredible group of women whose friendship is one of the greatest gifts of my life,” said Longo. “We made amazing memories together while at Mount Union and have continued to make memories together since we graduated.” 

Longo explained that she and her Miller Ave. girls have kept in touch with one another through living in different states, career changes, and growing families.

Alumni of the University are welcomed to contribute their mark on campus by purchasing a personalized brick by visiting the Legacy Walkway page.