NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.- Students and faculty were surprised to return to campus in August to discover a college landmark was gone.
The geodesic sphere sculpture in between Patterson and Mckelvey, more well known as the Orb, seemed to have disappeared. A lot of people, especially alumni, were shocked and wanted to know where it went.
According to college officials, work crews dismantled the Orb over the summer before classes began. The College’s Safety Committee deemed the Orb was a hazard because people, specifically children, were climbing on it.
“It was never intended to be an object that people climbed on,” stated Kenneth Romig, Vice President of FMS. “They [College Safety Committee] specifically noted that the Orb had some rough, sharp edges and some connecting bolts were missing, and they were concerned that people might get cut or that the Orb might collapse.”
Shortly after the College assessed the hazards, WC’s insurance carrier called the Orb an attractive nuisance. It especially appealed to children to come and climb on it. The only options to prevent an accident were:
- Put up a sign.
- Create a fence.
- Remove the Orb.
A sign wasn’t good enough to keep away children, especially for those who aren’t old enough to read. A fence would have taken away from the Orb’s appearance. The only option left was to take down the Orb.
The Orb was created in 1972 by students. It was a public art piece that was enjoyed by students, faculty, and visitors for nearly 50 years. Because of this, campus officials recognized the Orb as an iconic part of the campus.
“We know The Orb stood in the background of a lot of photos over the years…not to mention the fact that it played a starring role in some campus pranks,” Library Dean Erin Smith shared with WCN. “So, the Retirement Party is a social media campaign in which we are inviting Titans near and far to share their Orb stories and photos with the hashtag #OrbRetirementParty. We hope people will play along!”
The metal remnants of the Orb are being stored on a pallet outside of Physical Plant.