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A Path Restored

Professor of Theater Domenick Scudera lead a volunteer team of faculty and staff to improve the Ursinus labyrinth outside the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center.

For many centuries, labyrinths have served as a spiritual and religious meditative tool. A person walks the maze-like design on a journey, clearing their mind in an effort to feel fulfilled by the time they reach the center.

Installed in 2006, Ursinus’s own labyrinth, situated outside the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center, has been a unique feature on campus for many years, inviting visitors to wander its path. But it has slowly deteriorated over time due to the sun fading away the original dark bricks, leaving the path lost. That inspired Professor of Theater Domenick Scudera to breathe new life into our symbol of meditation and mindfulness.

In early June, Scudera led a group of 15 faculty and staff volunteers in an effort to reinvigorate the labyrinth on campus. It took the group about three hours in the blazing sun to repaint the bricks and restore the seven-circuit labyrinth to its former glory.

Scudera and Professor of Dance Karen Clemente had been thinking about the project for a long time, but it was not until a woman from the community came looking for the labyrinth that they decided to spring into action.

“One day I was sitting nearby and saw a woman walking all around, looking for it” Scudera recalled. She walked right past the labyrinth without realizing what it was—a maze hidden in plain sight.

So, he emailed Director of Facilities Steve Halasa to kick start the process. Halasa and his team provided the supplies, while Scudera asked for volunteers to help beautify the oft-forgotten interactive piece of art.

The group picked out a day, Scudera and Clemente marked out the bricks that needed to be painted, and then members of the Ursinus community showed up to finish the work together.

The Ursinus labyrinth was inspired by a stained-glass window with a rose design in Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France. Scudera hopes that his restoration project helps people understand and value the meaning of a labyrinth, a place for reflection and meditation, rather than for the echo one hears when standing at its center and clapping.

“The whole idea was to not only allow people on campus to walk the labyrinth, but also to bring in people from the community,” Scudera said. “I’m hoping it can have some sort of meaning for people that value what it is intended to do.”

In addition to Scudera and Clemente, volunteers for the project were: Tristan Ashcroft, Mallory Dubus, Mark Ellison, Jennifer Fleeger, Holly Hubbs, Meghan Jones, Leah Joseph, Michael Love, Rebecca Lyczak, Chris Sadowski, Jordan Scharaga, Casey Schwarz, and Terry Winegar.

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