Educational Institutions Collaborate on Airport Mural

09/29/2004

Contributed by Maureen Forrest

Tompkins County's three centers of higher education -- Ithaca College, Cornell University, and Tompkins Cortland Community College -- have collaborated in the creation of a mural in the Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport.

The display is 35 feet long by 7 feet high and is a full-color collage of photos representing the three academic institutions. It covers a wall in the airport's baggage-claim carousel area.

The project's goal was to help provide welcoming images for visitors to Ithaca and Tompkins County, and also to show the tremendous vitality of higher education in the area.

"With our economic health and quality of life tied so closely to Cornell University, Ithaca College, and Tompkins Cortland Community College, it is both appropriate and pleasing to have all three represented so prominently in the gateway to our community," said airport manager Bob Nicholas.

Said Fred Bonn, director of the Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau: "The new mural at the airport helps to create an important sense of place for travelers to our community. The collaborative effort showcases the emphasis our community places on higher education which, I feel, distinguishes us nationally."

Ithaca College's Office of Marketing Communications took the lead in designing the collage from images supplied by all three colleges. The wall mural was installed on Sept. 17.

"As the area's largest industry, it is fitting that higher education be highlighted in our transportation hub," said Ithaca College executive director of marketing communications Tom Torello. "This helps put a public face on a distinctive community asset."

"This mural represents, in part, the many collaborative efforts initiated by Cornell, IC, and TC3, including the Campus-Community Coalition, as well as providing a symbolic welcome for new visitors and old friends," said Cornell director of community relations John Gutenberger.

"We're proud to be part of this community and to be so closely connected to Cornell and Ithaca College," said TC3 President Carl Haynes. "Our county is blessed with three outstanding, distinctive institutions that work together well."

Contributed by Dave Maley

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