Rowan unveils new welcome gate arch

Rowan unveils new welcome gate arch

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A one-ton, stainless steel welcome arch linking Rowan University’s past, present and future now welcomes students at the school’s historic main gate.

The entrance, off Whitney Avenue leading to Bunce Hall, Rowan’s original academic building, was the point through which the school’s earliest classes of students passed after disembarking their train to campus.

With a cost of $58,000, the arch project, initiated by Rowan’s Student Government Association and the Division of Student Life, was funded in part through student gifts and through funding for art on campus. It is set atop brick pillars built by the Glassboro State College Student Government Association, faculty, alumni and friends some 50 years ago.

The arch is 19 feet high (tall enough for a passing fire truck) and 30 feet across. It is acid washed for a classic black patina and features forged steel bowls on either side with stylized Rowan torch flames and oak leaves.

Commenting during the arch’s unveiling Nov. 10, Rowan University President Ali Houshmand predicted passersby will be elated by it.

“I’m happy every day when I look around this campus,” he said. “The campus is really blooming.”

The hand-cut, freestanding arch was designed by Toms River artist Brian Hanlon and created by R&N Welding in Toms River. It was crafted to recall the elegance of Bunce Hall’s 1920s design and to transition Rowan into the future.

Looking up during the unveiling, Student Government President Joe Chen said the designers hit their mark.

“It’s striking,” he said. “Students will be excited to walk through this arch to see what happens next.”