Press Releases

Franklin University Unveils Two New Statues in Student Statue Series

For Immediate Release: September 20, 2011

Contact Sherry Mercurio, Director of Public Relations, 614.947.6581

Columbus, OH —

Franklin University, one of the leading educators of working adults, is pleased to announce the unveiling of its two newest “Students of Franklin” statues dedicated to the diversity of the University’s student population. The statues are meant to provide a very real connection for Franklin’s on-campus students to University alumni and to those students who share their classes with students from other states and around the globe.

As an educator of working adults, Franklin’s student body is different than students found at many traditional universities.  As the University grows, the experiences and viewpoints of the student population take on a more global perspective.  To celebrate this growth as well as honor the diversity of our students who come to Franklin from nearly 70 countries around the world, Franklin held a ceremony this month dedicating sculptors Celene Hawkins and Jarrett Hawkins two new statues.

The first new statue pays tributes to Franklin’s global diversity by honoring Vivian Bulley, an accounting student from the West Indies.  The second provides a broader depiction of the University's growing international diversity by featuring a global sculpture with the likeness of the following Franklin University students:

  • Ismael Adem:  Ethiopia
  • Abdinasir Ahmed: Somalia
  • Gabriela Caruso Vandermark: Brazil
  • Keat Herdman: Cambodia
  • Fitri Kentoyo: Indonesia
  • Raquel Marquez: Venezuela
  • Patricio Plazolles: Peru (Recently nominated for the Peruvian Pride Award)
  • Cedric Wells: Jamaica

These two new statues were commissioned thanks to the generous donations of Laura Aeh, Patricia Aronhalt, Dee Dee Bowers, Dr. Bruce Campbell, Dr. Tom Hrubec, Michael Klingler, Wayne Miller, Dr. Tim Reymann, Dr. Tom Seiler, Dr. Suzan Waller, Dr. David Welch, and Frank and Kristen Yanchak.

The first statues in the series were created by sculptor Gary Ross honoring students in our military program, community college alliance, and campus based programs.  These statues were made possible through the generous support of Barnes and Noble, Sanese Services and Paul Otte, depicting the following Franklin students:

  • Sgt. Major Scott Martin (eArmyU)
  • Linda Peltier (Community College Alliance)
  • Pamela Watkins (Organizational Leadership)

About the Sculptors

Hawkins & Hawkins Custom is the business partnership of married visual artists Jarrett and Celene Hawkins. Though they often join forces to execute both public and private commissioned works, both artists have highly individual personal portfolios. They have significant experience working with clients, architects, and contractors– the result of over 15 years in business together.

Gary Ross works with a variety of materials, from cast bronze and resins to carved wood and stone. Ross has not limited his career to sculpting.  Over the years, he has shared his artistic talents with others through teaching in the Columbus Public Schools, the Columbus College of Art & Design, and for nearly four decades at Capital University.

About Franklin University
Founded in 1902, Franklin University is one of the leading and most experienced educators of adult students. The University offers applied, in-demand undergraduate, master's and doctorate programs that enable adult learners to achieve their educational and professional goals.  From entrepreneurs to CEOs, more than 45,000 Franklin alumni can be found around the world contributing to the communities in which they live and work. Students can take classes through Franklin through its Main Campus in downtown Columbus, Ohio, two central Ohio locations, in Beavercreek, at co-locations across Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, and online. In addition, the University's MBA program is offered internationally through agreements with institutions in Europe and the Middle East. Further information regarding Franklin University can be found at

Franklin University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


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