March 30, 2014


I attended a conference at Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Friday and Saturday. It was the first time I had spent time on campus since I gave up my teaching position in the computer science department more than 25 years ago and joined the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. I was impressed by the changes I saw, which included new and renovated buildings, as well as updated landscaping.

I had to smile when I encountered an unfamiliar piece of outdoor sculpture near the entrance to the student center. I meant to take a number of pictures of the campus, but rain intervened, and the only photos I took were of the alligator sculpture (below). It is, as you can see, amazingly lifelike. (Click on the image for a larger view.)

Alligator sculpture

Allegheny College sports teams are the Gators. Paradoxically, there are no alligators in the chilly climate of northwestern Pennsylvania. The alliteration of “Allegheny Alligators,” along with the reputation of the American alligator as a ferocious carnivore, no doubt lead to the selection of school mascot. “Go, Gators,” I suppose, works better as a cheer than “Go, Alligators.”

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