Campus Life

’50 in Flight’ mural commemorates 50 years of history on campus

Written by Laurie Melchionne, Editor in Chief

Students stroll through time as they walk through the Campus Center above the food court. There, a mural with a soaring osprey and nearly 1,000 photographs of Stockton history sprawls the length of a wall. Assembled in just two days, the massive structure is mounted at 30 x 16 feet. 

On March 31, the 50th Anniversary Steering Committee unveiled the mural which chronicles a visual story that spans 50 years. Spearheaded by the 50th Anniversary Exhibits Team, Special Collections Librarian Heather Perez and Special Collections graduate student Jessica Chamberlain carefully selected the images from calls for submissions from faculty and alumni, as well as from the physical and digital archives in the library. 

Campus/Virtual Exhibits Team co-chair Heather Perez speaking at the mural reveal ceremony. Photo courtesy of Christopher Melillo.

“We wanted Stockton as a community to have equal representation of photos through the decades,” Perez said after the unveiling ceremony on the 31st. There, Perez, Chamberlain, and President Kesselman addressed a crowd of students with refreshments and a cake replica of the mural itself. “Our vision was for your Stockton experience to be represented.”

The 50 in Flight mural also has a digital version online, which is only one of the many features of the Exhibit Team’s ongoing efforts to preserve Stockton’s 50 years as an institution. 

Guests also had cake with a replica of the osprey-in-flight mural in the icing. Photo courtesy of Christopher Melillo.

“It took nine months to write all the stories,” said Chamberlain, who sits on the Campus/Virtual Exhibits committee alongside co-chairs Perez, Associate Professor of History Michelle McDonald, and Director of Creative Services Ed Wuillermin.

In addition to providing digital access to the mural, the Exhibits Team continues to perfect this Stockton time machine. Chamberlain promises that the photographs on the website will soon be accompanied by captions, which will further immerse the viewer in the world that Stockton was in throughout the years. 

Think of any part of Stockton–the people, the places, the names, and the legends–and the Exhibits Team has it displayed online and in-person, further preserving and sharing the spirit that is the Stockton experience.