Creativity Award gives Adrian community a chance to improve campus

A small, hundred-acre campus dotted with crumbling limestone buildings that jut from the ground like rocks out of a mossy forest: that is what the current campus of Adrian College would look like without the creativity of generations of faculty and students. Thanks to programs like the Creativity Award, which is annually handed down by the Institute for Creativity, Adrian’s campus is full of life. The Creativity Award is a yearly contest that allows students and faculty to submit ideas for a small campus improvement. The winner of the contest receives 1,000 dollars to keep and 10,000 dollars are put forward to realize the idea. The Institute for Creativity is accepting applications for ideas now until March 1.

The Creativity Award has been in place for at least a decade, with a donor putting forward 10,000 dollars each year to creatively enhance Adrian’s campus. Once ideas for the award have been submitted, a committee which includes President Docking and the Dean of Students meet to discuss and vote on the winning idea. Past winning ideas for the Creativity Award include the slide in Caine Student Center, the spiral staircase in Mahan Hall, the “Hello” path in front of Caine, the Bruiser Cruisers, and the donation scholarship sculpture in Caine. 

“It’s fun to do something this meaningful, something that’s going to be on campus for decades to come,” said Travis Erxleben, a professor of ceramics at Adrian College and the director of the Institute for Creativity.

“This is 10,000 dollars for one project. We can do something big with this,” Erxleben said.

Currently, the Institute for Creativity, like the many other Adrian College Institutes, is working on fleshing out a purpose statement and series of goals. Erxleben is working on bringing speakers to campus to speak on the topic of creativity as it relates to entrepreneurship and other topics. In addition, the Institute for Creativity is working on putting together a “creativity abroad” trip, which would involve traveling to Europe to visit museums. 

“The future of this institution, in my opinion, depends on creativity, and our ability to devote ourselves to constantly re-imagining, reinventing, improving and changing in large ways and small how Adrian College does everything,” President Docking said in relation to how the creativity award can affect campus for generations to come.

Students and faculty who have an idea for the Creativity Award can submit their ideas using the link featured on posters throughout campus or in their emails. Finalists for the award get an Institute for Creativity t-shirt and a 50 dollar gift card for Arrington Bookstore. The winning idea will be announced at the annual State of the College Address.


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