125th Anniversary Sculpture

125th Anniversary Sculpture

Artist: Robert Barnum

The sculpture project commemorating Ferris State University's 125th Anniversary in 2010 was designed by Ferris Resident Artist and professor of Creative Arts Robert Barnum and his students.

The project included three sculptures that when completed stood more than 22 feet tall and weighed more than 2,000 pounds. The artwork is displayed at the western perimeter of campus near the US 131 freeway.

"The sculptures are a visual narrative that offer a thought-provoking dialogue to the viewer of all ages about the nature and intellectual personality of a place and time," Barnum said. "This university, as with any school of higher education, is an industry dedicated to goals from the practical to the philosophical that evolves the human race.

"This is a visual presence that will stand for hundreds of years and will require a personal, self-directed response. Each viewer who stands before this sculpture in 2010, and for centuries in the future, will first contemplate and then choose its title, definition and purpose,” he added.

Christine Vonder Haar, associate professor in Ferris' Department of Languages and Literature, submitted the winning entry in a "name the sculpture" contest -- "To Strive, To Seek, To Find."

Vonder Haar said that an Alfred Lord Tennyson poem inspired her: "Tennyson is one of my favorite poets, and every time I drive by the sculpture, I think of the line from his poem 'Ulysses.'"

125th Anniversary Sculpture