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Spirit Rock rocks campus

The Spirit Rock, once a lonely, unpainted rock from a quarry, has attracted all sorts of attention from around the campus. Its location is perfect for advertising, considering that it's located outside of Mac, and students pass the rock every day. But what is the history behind the rock? Where did the idea come from?

The idea of the Spirit Rock came from Justin Courtney, director of Residence Life, after he visited some other campuses. Courtney noted that students at these campuses seemed to really take pride in the rock, often making creative designs that attracted attention from students as well as faculty. 

Courtney also wanted something that was a made a tradition at Ohio Northern, considering that, as technology advances, some things are getting thrown to the side. One of the ideas that Jennifer Lambdin had for incoming students was for each student to sign the rock at the beginning of the year. Even though the rock will be painted over and over again, the students' signatures will remain on the rock forever.

But where did the Spirit Rock come from? Jason Duff, a member of the Board of Trustees, donated a rock from his personal quarry. The rock, which is uniquely shaped and abundantly weighted, was able to make its way over to the university, free of charge. The only thing that Ohio Northern had to pay for was the moving equipment needed to implement the rock in front of the McIntosh Center. 

The Spirit Rock has continued to hit it off with student organizations and has even been booked through next year. For now, the Spirit Rock remains only used by Ohio Northern students and not used for commercial advertising. The most unusual booking of the Spirit Rock so far has been a wedding that will take place at ONU over the summer. 

Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, was unsure what the point of the Spirit Rock was in the beginning. However, after much explanation and planning from Courtney, the two worked together and have not looked back. "Adriane still supported my idea," Courtney said.  

When asked about which of the organizations has had the most creative idea for the Spirit Rock, the two administrators were conflicted. 

"Each of the organizations has creative ideas," Thompson-Bradshaw stated. "It's hard to decide." 

Courtney decided that the chapel's Christmas tree decoration of the Spirit Rock was his favorite, stating that he "thought it was cute."  The organizations each have aspects that are creative, whether it is an advertisement for a breast cancer awareness event or Lima's Casino Night.

The Spirit Rock seems to have gained momentum and shows no signs of slowing down. If you would like to have your organization paint the Spirit Rock, simply fill out the form located on the ONU Spirit Rock page and turn it in to Adriane Thompson-Bradshaw. 

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