"UMSL in Glass," a new glass-block sculpture on campus

UMSL students, faculty and staff gather Feb. 6 to dedicate “UMSL in Glass,” a glass-block sculpture conceived by students from the Department of Theatre, Dance and Media Studies for the UMSL Jubilee. Lights behind the sculpture illuminate it at night. (Photo by August Jennewein)

The idea grew from a class last spring in advertising techniques taught by Kristy Tucciarone, associate teaching professor of media studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. At the time, the university was planning the yearlong Jubilee celebration of its 50th anniversary in 2013.

“I posed a challenge to my students,” Tucciarone said. “ I wanted to know from a student perspective how to celebrate UMSL’s 50 years of service. They wanted something cool, something that says ‘UMSL.’ They’re proud of their time here.”

She called the results of the brainstorming session with her 30 students “awesome.”

One of those ideas was a glass-block wall with red blocks spelling UMSL. After weeks of construction under wraps, the wall was revealed and lit the evening of Feb. 6 during a ceremony on the southwest lawn of the Millennium Student Center. The event was one of many planned this year to celebrate UMSL’s 50th anniversary. UMSL Chancellor Tom George presided over the dedication. The wall, from Glass Blocks of St. Louis, is 160 inches by 56 inches and is constructed of various styles of glass blocks.

The university set aside $50,000 to help support Jubilee events or activities sponsored and hosted by units, departments and organizations across campus. The glass wall was one of 36 projects funded by that 50/50 Project.

Bailey Hopper, a sophomore majoring in business administration, and Samantha Pelc, a senior majoring in criminology and criminal justice, came for the festivities. They too used “awesome” to describe the concept of the glass wall.

Patricia Zahn, manager of community outreach and engagement and chair of the Jubilee Program Committee at UMSL, was pleased with the evening.

“We have a bonfire, hot chocolate and perfect weather. What’s not to like?” she said. “It’s also another opportunity to engage the UMSL community and do something fun.”

Two hundred students, faculty and staff attended the event, which also included hot dogs and snacks. The Student Government Association sponsored the festivities and held a raffle for bookstore coupons and lots of UMSL gear. The big prize was an i-Pad won by Abby Wood, a junior majoring in business administration.

“I was shocked because I thought they were raffling off sweatshirts,” Wood said. “I didn’t expect to win anything, especially an iPad. It’s just so cool.”


Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

Eye on UMSL: Building blocks

Members of the Spring 2024 graduating class of the University of Missouri–St. Louis play Jenga during the annual New Grad Bash on Thursday.