Governor’s Scholars make their (patriotic) mark
July 26, 2012 By Elizabeth Trollinger
a project of painting fire hydrants in the community with
patriotic designs. Above, two scholars paint a fire hydrant
near Breckinridge Hall.
“This project shows the mark of GSP on Centre’s campus,” says
scholar Nikki Williams of Louisville.
The 29th year of the Governor’s Scholars Program (GSP) is currently underway at Centre College, and students participating in the program are leaving their mark on the college—literally.
Scholars in a class with Jane Dewey, adjunct instructor of dramatic arts at Centre, have been working with children from Boyle and Mercer Counties to paint fire hydrants in the community. The fire hydrants were painted in patriotic colors in advance of the upcoming Vice Presidential Debate at Centre this fall, reminiscent of a similar project took place before the debate at Centre in 2000
“The Arts Commission of Danville/Boyle County organized the fire hydrant painting project in 2000 as well as this time around,” Dewey says. “The Commission reached out to us and I thought it might be a good project to do with younger students during GSP. Last time there were many designs, but this time there are two, so all of the fire hydrants look much the same.”
Scholars partnered up with the children to complete the painting projects—and everyone enjoyed the experience.
“I loved working with the kids,” says scholar Rachel Roup, from Oldham County. “They were so sweet and we had so much fun.”
“It was really rewarding, especially to see them blossoming when they would say things like, ‘I want to paint this part,”’ says scholar Savannah Walker, also from Oldham County. “It was fun to watch them try the best they could and take charge.”
The scholars and children bonded quickly—and scholar Kevin Brashear, from Letcher County, thinks that it helped for the kids to realize that the scholars were experiencing a similar bonding process with each other.
“I believe that the kids felt really comfortable with us because they saw us interacting with each other,” he says. “They saw how we acted and fell right into the pattern.”
“Part of the reason they were so successful is that they were forming these really wonderful relationships with each other in a very short period of time,” she says. “We had the students for seven sessions altogether, so it wasn’t a lot of time, but the scholars were so used to being able to form genuine bonds really quickly, it carried over into what they did with the kids. They accomplished what they did because they were able to form those bonds with the kids as well as with each other.”
With the Vice Presidential Debate bringing international attention to Centre this fall, the scholars are excited that their fire hydrant designs will be on display.
“This project shows the mark of GSP on Centre’s campus,” says scholar Nikki Williams of Louisville.
“It’s pretty cool—and if we’re ever back here, we can show our parents or friends what we did,” says scholar Chris Gartner of Louisville.
GSP is coming to a close this weekend, but the scholars say that the bonds they’ve built at Centre this summer will last for a long time.
“The relationships we’ve built here have been great,” Walker says. “I know two girls on my hall are planning a road trip before school starts.”
“The relationships are built so strongly,” says Brashear. “In five weeks’ time, I’m probably better friends with the people I’ve met here than with the people I know back home.”
For more about the Governor’s Scholars Program, visit Centre’s GSP website here.
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Centre College, founded in 1819 and chosen to host its second Vice Presidential Debate in 2012, is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges, at 42nd in the nation, and ranks 27th for best value among national liberal arts colleges. Forbes magazine ranks Centre 34th among all the nation’s colleges and universities and has named Centre in the top five among all institutions of higher education in the South for three years in a row. Centre is also ranked fourth in the nation by U.S. News for its study abroad program. For more, click here.