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BS/MEng Mechanical Engineering
Clifton Park NY

The Albert Paley Legacy

Alissa Anderson on Friday, 19 November 2010. Posted in Life After RIT

In case you missed my twitter feed today, Ihave been working all night updating my tour script and gearing up for worknext quarter. 

I have been giving tours on the RIT campusfor over two years now, but the constant campus improvements (both physical throughthe addition of new buildings; and mental in the addition of new majors andprograms) make working as an ambassador a constant challenge to stay relevant.Every time I read through the tour script I am greeted by a new name orbenefactor I am unfamiliar with... OR I see something I am completely familiarwith in a new light... take for instance the Sentinel Sculpture. 

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The Sentinel Sculpture is located at thefocal point of campus - the center of the quarter-mile - in front of theStudent Alumni Union (SAU) and the George Eastman Building (Building 1, home toDr. Destler's office). 

I cannot tell you how manytimes I have walked or driven past this sculpture, hundreds? Thousands? It isimpossible to miss it on the way to class and I am certain every student on thecampus can recognize the structure. I say structure, because many are unawareof the history and the story behind the Sentinel. 

As a tour guide we aretaught that the Sentinel was constructed in 2003 by a former RIT professor,Albert Paley. The artwork weighs roughly 110 tons and is about 7-storieshigh…Depending on who you ask, some students will tell you it is a horseman onhis steed (not that the RIT history has any connection to horses, we were thetech men before we became the tigers…); others will tell you it is a weathercontrolling structure of superpowers. I am a true believer in the story that Paley’sintent was to create a cultural piece for the campus to symbolize the unity ofthe colleges on campus and the college-experience.

Needless to say, theSentinel is a landmark on the RIT campus, and for some reason I had the urge togoogle the artist and see what I could find. My first link was toalbertpaley.com, where the opening shot on his homepage is our lovely Sentinel.

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It’s great to see that thesculpture has such a large impact beyond the campus.

I also found that there isa book documenting the design and construction of the Sentinel, which I mayhave to check out when I get back to campus next week. 

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