Lost and Found

Each spring, graduating seniors take up paint pots and brushes to make their mark on Graffiti Wall, a tradition since the Class of 1931 painted their names and amusing scenes on the wall that stretches between Toll and Browning Halls. Students added words that give a glimpse into the thoughts and mood of the time: From 1931, “She passeth well who crammeth well to meet this fiery test”; 1938, “Beauty or brains or both”; 1971, “All you need is love”; 1976, “Happy Birthday, America”; and 2007, “Make Change Now.”

Over the years, some of the scenes have faded or been painted over; some have been lost completely.

This summer, an ambitious crew, led by conservator Aneta Zabala, at right, brought many of the class images back to full vibrancy and readability.

Judy Harvey Sahak ’64, Sally Preston Swan Librarian at Denison, aided the project with research from the archives, including photographs and drawings.

“As someone who has long believed that Graffiti Wall is the most precious artifact and the most enduring tradition on campus, I have found it exciting—no, goose bump thrilling—to see these records of student life and concerns over the past 80 years be restored,” she said. “The conservator and her team have worked miracles in cleaning the grime of decades and reclaiming the legacies of lost and damaged images.”

However, there are still several classes whose images are not represented, whether because of damage or because the class did not add one to the Wall. The College is seeking photographs or recollections of images from the following classes: 1948, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1972, 1983, and 1988. Please send to Judy Harvey Sahak, Denison Library, Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave., Claremont, CA, 91711.