Noblitt Scholars Give Back to Community with Mural Project

Monday, May 03, 2021

In a community service project, a group of highly motivated and self-directed Noblitt Scholars helped design and organize members to paint a sunrise mural that’s bringing pride to Terre Haute’s 12 Points neighborhood.

A group of inaugural Noblitt Scholars worked together to give back to the Terre Haute community by helping design and create a large-scale mural for the city’s historic 12 Points neighborhood that’s already receiving rave reviews from local citizens and Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch.

Thirty first-year students spent two afternoons last week painting shades of red, blue, purple, green, and orange to create a sunrise scene, accentuated with three large hearts, across a 62-foot long wall of the PARQ building within the neighborhood, which features the intersection of three major city streets.

Husband-and-wife PARQ co-owners Mark and Tiffany Baker hope the mural will become a source of pride for neighborhood residents and a popular spot for visitors to pose for photos.

That’s what Crouch did Friday, April 30, while visiting the area whose 12 Points Revitalization, Inc. organization is seeking state assistance to support further economic and community development opportunities.

“What we try to do is help communities create that quality of life that is so important,” Crouch told the Terre Haute Tribune-Star. “We see that this is an investment that is going to lift up not just this area but all of Terre Haute.”

Neighborhood residents offered words of encouragement to the Noblitt Scholars while stopping to watch the students’ efforts during the two workdays (Sunday, April 25, and Saturday, May 1). Another passerby shouted “It looks beautiful” from her car while admiring the project.

Noblitt Scholars Director Christine Buckley learned about the neighborhood leaders’ idea for creating the mural and thought it would be an ideal opportunity for students seeking to work together on a group project, preferably outdoors and off-campus, after spending most of the 2020-21 school year impacted by COVID-19 health and safety restrictions.

"I'm hoping the Noblitt Scholars see the power of their STEM expertise to provoke change,” says Buckley. “Our students have skills and abilities that can impact a community. Several of our Noblitt Scholars had past community service, while others have had very little. This is just one aspect of the Noblitt Scholars experience that will benefit them throughout their careers as professionals. They need to give back to others."

Noblitt Scholar Amelia Robinson, a biomedical engineering student from Georgetown, Kentucky, agrees, stating, “It’s nice to be working together to help bring hope, joy, and energy to this community through this mural. It’s been a labor of love for all of us.”

She continued, “It’s a great feeling to have us all together, especially given the year that we’ve had. This is really the first time that we as Noblitt Scholars have been able to meet up. To have this positive impact in the community is amazing.”

The Noblitt Scholars program, supported by a $10 million gift from 1973 Rose-Hulman alumnus Niles Noblitt and his wife Nancy, guides and supports highly motivated, self-directed learners as they identify an area of interest to them, develop expertise in that area, and turn their passion and knowledge into action. Each year, through a rigorous and competitive application process, Rose-Hulman selects 55 first-year students representing diverse academic interests and backgrounds to become Noblitt Scholars. Learn more about the program at