Centennial Operations

Part 2 of 4

in which we repeatedly employed devious means to make the Centennial Plaza a better place

Anytime someone mentioned to me how ugly the plaza was, I encouraged them to write a letter to Paydirt. One student created a petition—signed by 35 people—stating in part “The Plaza currently looks like the Saddam Hussein Memorial Bunker with its patina of cobbles. They are unaesthetic, and from the wide range of sizes, look to be dredged up from a streambed...The plaza currently looks repulsive and we request that you replace the stones with turf.”  I printed the petition and other Plaza-related letters in Paydirt’s final issue of the 1990–91 school year.  The newspaper also ran a photo of the plaza on the front page, accompanied by an article describing its ugliness and quoting various campus leaders.  All hoped Physical Plant couldn’t ignore the campus-wide hostility toward their unauthorized redesign transforming the Centennial Plaza into a tailings pile.

Paydirt about the Centennial Plaza More Paydirt about the Centennial Plaza

Paydirt Letters about the Centennial Plaza

The end of the school year arrived. Operative Torch graduated with his Physics degree, and he and I drove back across the country to his home in Pennsylvania and my home in Maryland. The summer passed. Everyone except Torch returned in the fall. Over the summer, Physical Plant had forced the bricklaying contractor to re-install the bricks so they were aligned less haphazardly.  But other than that, the Centennial Plaza looked exactly the same, like a big pile of rocks.  Clearly, times were desperate.

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