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A Seven-Year Old's Bright Idea

Seven-year old Evan Wayne inspired the College to illuminate the Chambers Building sign. This is his story.

by David Price (August 2010)

University Park, Pa. -- Next time you're passing Chambers Building in the dark, take a look at the sign at the northeast entrance to Chambers. You'll be able to see it...and the sidewalk...thanks to a seven-year old boy.

evansign.jpgYou see, Suzanne Wayne (the associate director of communications for the College) and her family were leaving an event at the Pasquerilla Spiritual Center last December, heading toward the Nittany Parking Deck along the dark walkway leading to Chamber's central fountain area. Suzanne's son Evan looked at the landscaped, brick sign that marks the building and said, "Wow! You'd think they would at least have lights on the sign."

The observation stuck Suzanne as an astute one. It's dark there. There should be lights. So Suzanne made a mental note to pass along Evan's observation to Dean Monk the next time she saw him. As fate would have it, that was just a few moments later as they met David and Pamela Monk walking home after a women's volleyball game at Rec Hall.

Suzanne told them about her son's suggestion. Dean Monk agreed with Evan and told him that it was a great idea. He pursued the idea with the Office of Physical Plant.

"Evan’s perceptive question prompted us to take a long overdue step to illuminate the brick wall," says Dean Monk. "The College’s identity now shines brightly, even when the sun is busy illuminating other parts of the world. My thanks go to Evan for calling this missed opportunity to our attention."

Just recently Evan got to see the results of his observation last winter—the newly installed lights shining up through the blooming summer annuals. "Does that mean I'm the boss of the College?" he asked. Well, he is one-for-one in the great idea department, but we think we'll let him take that question up with Dean Monk.

And that is why there are now lights on the Chambers Building sign.