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Giant numbers find home on campus mall as UW-Eau Claire celebrates centennial

| Mike Knuth

If you have been wondering what the giant 1916 numbers that have found a home on the campus mall are all about and where they came from, you have come to the right place.

To begin, the “1916” sign that was erected on the campus mall is part of the centennial celebration at UW-Eau Claire. One-hundred years ago when the Eau Claire Normal School was founded, school president Harvey A. Schofield probably never imagined a giant 1916 sign would become a great backdrop for your Instagram photo or Facebook profile.

While Harvey may not have been able to see 100 years into the future, the Student Affairs Leadership Fellows cohort did have the vision to recognize the centennial in a unique way.

“Our Leadership Fellows group really wanted to create a fun and easy way for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our many campus visitors to share in the celebration of the university’s centennial,” Leadership Fellows Cohort member Bonnie Krahn said. “We invite Blugolds to gather together for a creative photo op next to the 1916 and show your spirit for UW-Eau Claire’s 100 years of excellence.”

The purpose of the Leadership Fellows Cohort is to provide professional development opportunities for faculty and staff, which in turn helps strengthen the university as a whole. This year’s group project to benefit the university focused on the centennial and the massive 1916 numbers that now adorn the campus mall near Centennial and Schneider Hall.

While the sign is not intended to be a permanent fixture, the hope is Blugolds will use the 1916 in photos that will last for generations to come. The Class of 2016 dontated the $2,100 needed for the sign through a graduation gift.

The 2015-16 Student Affairs Leadership Fellows include Kent Gerberich (Learning & Technology Services); Mallory Gohl (Recreation & Sports Facilities); Phil Huelsbeck (Continuing Education); Bonnie Krahn (Integrated Marketing and Communications); Jenna Krosch (Center for International Education); Sheryl Poirier (Recreation & Sports Facilities); Nicole Schultz (Communication and Journalism); and Kristin Schumacher (Activities Involvement and Leadership).

Thanks to the Leadership Fellows, and with help from UW-Eau Claire Foundation executive director Kim Way, assistant chancellor Mike Rindo and the campus facilities team, you can have giant numbers photo bomb your next Snapchat.

UW-Eau Claire’s Centennial Celebration officially kicks off May 21 at the commencement of the university’s 100th spring graduating class. More centennial events are planned beginning in the fall 2016 semester and through spring 2017. More centennial event details are available on the centennial website,