Lamborn’s dedication to student success honored with artwork

Paul Thayer, Blanche Hughes, Alan Lamborn with sculpture in TILT building

Paul Thayer, Blanche Hughes and Alan Lamborn at the ribbon-cutting for the sculpture dedicated in Lamborn’s honor in the TILT building. Photo by John Eisele, CSU Photography

When Alan Lamborn retired as associate provost for educational attainment at Colorado State University in May 2018, colleagues and other private donors contributed to a gift commemorating his 34 years on campus: a sculpture created by one of his favorite artists.

Lamborn worked with Loveland sculptor Kathleen Caricof on the design of an abstract piece called “Onward: A Heart Open to Learning and Discovery.” It was formally unveiled at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 21 in the lobby of the TILT Building on the Oval, where the work will be on permanent display.

Provost Rick Miranda, in his remarks at the ceremony, pointed out that it is precisely the right place for a piece honoring Lamborn’s contributions to the University. Referring to the shapes that make up the sculpture, he drew a parallel to Lamborn’s ability to “fit things together that didn’t want to come together – Al did it wonderfully. He had so much to do with what this building has become to further student success on our campus, “ he said.

The Institute for Learning and Teaching was founded in 2005 to provide a home to collaborative programs, initiatives and activities to advance research, promote effective practices that enhance learning, teaching and student success. The building, CSU’s first library and then the music building, now also houses the Student Disability Center.

Steven Dandaneau, executive director of The Reinvention Collaborative, a position Lamborn held for five years, said the organization is proud to support the installation of the artwork as “a daily reminder of how much Al contributed to learning and student success at CSU.”

The abstract piece, crafted of Indiana limestone, represents a heart with an opening in the center and an arrow on one end, according to Lamborn.

“I particularly like the material because of its very subtle visual complexity, which seems – in the TILT sculpture – to symbolize the multi-dimensionality of the many routes to learning and discovery,” he added.

Caricof is also known for works made from Yule marble quarried in Marble, Colorado. It is celebrated for the unique ways it captures and reflects light, and was most famously used to create the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. For her skills, Caricof is one of the small group of sculptors chosen to work on upcoming repairs to the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, which is also made of Yule marble.

The work in TILT is positioned so that the arrow points to the future, literally out the front door of the building.

“Kathleen presented five or six options for the design, but this one was the runaway choice,” Lamborn said in his remarks. “The symbolism is of a heart open to what’s next; TILT and the University make it possible to venture forth and go on with your life.”

He recognized Paul Thayer, now retired, and Blanche Hughes, vice president for student affairs, for working with him and Laura Jensen, vice president for institutional research and planning, on CSU’s Student Success Initiatives, which are now moving into their second phase.

“That required creating a coalition to support people who were energized to connect with others to become engaged with student learning,” he said. “Together, we promoted an ethos of success and a commitment to our own journey of learning and discovery.”