||Campus community invited to help celebrate The Flame's 40th birthday
RELEASED: May 7, 2009
DANVILLE, KY—Almost forty years ago, a striking sculpture called "The Flame" was installed at the center of Centre College's campus. Soon after, students began a tradition of running from their dorm to The Flame and back—usually dressed in...nothing. (Public nudity is against student conduct regulations, so prospective Flame Runners must choose their time well and run really fast—or be prepared to pay the fine.)
This year, the College celebrates 40 years of this piece of outdoor art that has seen so much. The office of alumni affairs is hosting a birthday party for The Flame on Tuesday, May 12 (last day of classes) at 4 p.m. Students, faculty and staff are invited to gather at The Flame (located in front of Crounse Hall), enjoy some cake, and share stories about their Flame experiences.
The oldest of Centre's outdoor sculptures, The Flame, by Belgian artist John Somville, was installed in 1969. Somville was at Centre, as a sculptor and teacher, from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. He was trained in Switzerland as well as in Belgium and, when he came to Centre, had had one-man shows in Italy, Germany and California.
Made of bronze, the sculpture is 11 feet high and weights 2,000 pounds. The plaster original was cut in seven pieces, shipped to a foundry in Michigan, then cast separately by the "lost-wax process" and welded into the final sculpture. According to an article in the December 1969 Centrepiece, The Flame is "a symbolic representation of the torch of knowledge which appears on Centre’s...seal."
On a plaque on the base of the sculpture is a quote from Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe: "Where the light is brightest, the shadows are deepest."
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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