Window of opportunity for future student leaders
Story by Mike Kilen
Photos by Andrew Rangel
A new year brings a new look — and new opportunities.
A bright piece of art appeared Tuesday on the Student Life Building’s large east window facing the Promenade: A blue sky, a purple airplane and purple mountains, fitting for the sunny Grand Canyon University campus.
Residence Life Manager Stephen Wahlstrom explains why the graphic art piece – 14-feet tall and 33 feet wide – was installed:
“COVID presented us with an opportunity to re-imagine how we were promoting student leader opportunities across Student Affairs. In the past we did a large fair in the Antelope Gym, which is not possible this year. So we needed something big to grab the attention of students to let them know about the incredible opportunities they have to become a student leader for the 2021-22 academic year.”
Wahlstrom and a team of four others from Student Affairs, including Cole Parker, Chris Jennings, Zach Erdmann and Kathryn Bell, thought it would be good to place the graphic art piece on the Student Life Building (Building 26), which houses many Student Affairs offices and is at a central point on campus.
The piece includes the student leader logo with the words integrity, humility and excellence and how to apply for positions.
They also hope it’s a reminder of the importance of student leaders, who lead and serve in several departments, including Campus Recreation, Spiritual Life, Residence Life and Student Engagement. More than 900 scholarships and 12 student leadership teams are available to those who apply.
“Student leaders are important to GCU because they establish and sustain the campus culture,” Wahlstrom said. “It’s our student body that makes GCU special, and we would not have the great campus culture that we do without our student leaders.”
While Parker and the GCU Engage team came up with the design, the fun part of the project belonged to Martell Robinson.
He’s GCU’s graphic installer and on Tuesday morning stood outside the building overseeing the application of the perforated vinyl onto the window.
The vinyl is designed with tiny holes throughout that allow people inside to see out, but those on the outside can’t see in.
Robinson said it’s the second largest project he’s done in his year at GCU. The largest was a mural at the baseball stadium.
He has been installing graphics for 16 years, with an even bigger project the one he did for the Arizona Diamondbacks two years ago – a 320-feet-by-284-feet brick wall decal advertising pet days at the park. He also has his own weekend business with automobiles and other graphic installations, which you can see on his Instagram page.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said of the piece advertising student leadership and the application process, which spans Jan. 4-20.
Grand Canyon University senior writer Mike Kilen can be reached at [email protected] or at 602-639-6764.