“Setting the Pace” Dedicated at USA Student Center; Sculpture a Donation from David and Lynn Gwin


Posted on October 14, 2014 by Jeb Schrenk
Jeb Schrenk


“Setting the Pace,” a sculpture on the lawn of the Student Center amphitheater, is a gift from David and Lynn Gwin. At the sculpture’s dedication, from left, are Lynn Gwin; David Gwin; SGA President Danielle Watson; USA President Dr. Tony G. Waldrop; Dr. John Smith, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Krista Harrell, associate dean of students; and Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations. data-lightbox='featured'
“Setting the Pace,” a sculpture on the lawn of the Student Center amphitheater, is a gift from David and Lynn Gwin. At the sculpture’s dedication, from left, are Lynn Gwin; David Gwin; SGA President Danielle Watson; USA President Dr. Tony G. Waldrop; Dr. John Smith, vice president for student affairs; Dr. Krista Harrell, associate dean of students; and Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations.

The University of South Alabama today officially dedicated “Setting the Pace,” the latest sculpture donated to USA by David and Lynn Gwin and the focal point of the renovated Student Center’s amphitheater.

“I’m honored as a graduate to give back to the University that I love, and I know Lynn feels the same way,” Gwin told those gathered for the event.

Gwin spoke of the importance of community investment and encouraged students to remember where they began their journey.

David Gwin received his bachelor’s degree in communication from USA in 1972. He went on to have a successful career in broadcast journalism before launching what is now Vic Companies, an advertising agency with clients worldwide. He and his wife are loyal Jaguar fans and members of the Jaguar Athletic Club.

Gwin noted the transformation of the campus since he attended USA. “I graduated when there were many trees here and very, very few buildings,” he said.

Donors such as the Gwins have contributed to USA’s advancement. Public art, a focus of the Gwins, has played an integral role in both the aesthetics of campus and the education of students.

“Setting the Pace,” at 18 feet tall and 1,500 pounds, was created by artist Jane DeDecker. It is made of bronze with a stainless steel infrastructure and features a man walking on top of a loop.

The Gwin Collection at USA also includes “Gridiron” at the football fieldhouse, “Einstein” outside Shelby Hall, “SouthPaw” in front of Alumni Hall, “Old Man and the Sea” beside the Humanities Building, and “Challenge” at the south entrance of the USA Mitchell Center.

 “The gift of the Gwin Sculpture Collection makes an impact on the USA landscape, but this collection has a far greater impact on the students, faculty members and visitors to campus,” Dr. Joseph F. Busta Jr., vice president for development and alumni relations, said prior to Tuesday’s ceremony. “David and Lynn Gwin's generosity will ensure that students continue to be inspired and challenged through works of public art like ‘Setting the Pace.’”

According to DeDecker, “‘Setting the Pace’ speaks to the balance that we, as individuals, seek in our lives. The man, walking thoughtfully on the top of the narrow circular path, is centered and focused on his journey, delicately balancing all the experiences and expectations he encounters.”

DeDecker has two other sculptures at USA, both in Geri Moulton Children’s Park at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital.

Danielle Watson, president of the Student Government Association, is able to see “Setting the Pace” from her office window in the Student Center.

“‘Setting the Pace’ really inspires the students and allows us to reflect on our experiences here at the University of South Alabama,” she said. “In my personal opinion, the sculpture shows how, as students, we can face some rough times and adversity, but we can continuously strive and push through in life.

“The placement of the sculpture also really emphasizes how much the Student Center really represents the ‘Center of It All.’”

The renovated Student Center features event space, including in the Ballroom and Terrace; the USA Bookstore; a food court; a coffee shop and the University post office; and houses student meeting rooms and offices, including for the Student Government Association, Greek life, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Jaguar Productions.


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