February 5, 2023

The story of the bricks on campus

The bricks lining the plaza on Mound St. allow students to commemorate their time and legacy at the university. 

“It really started with the inception of the plaza fountain itself, which was a donation from an individual, Bob and Missy Weiler,” said April Novotny, associate vice president for advancement.

Many people brought up the idea of bricks over the years and the university eventually implemented it on-campus. 

“What it is is a tribute, often to them [alumni and students] or others, that helped make Capital what it is today. You know, oftentimes people will purchase bricks or pavers to celebrate a birthday or holiday, or a graduation or some other milestone in their life,” Novotny said. 

Families sometimes buy bricks in order to talk about their legacy at the institution as well.

“It serves as a reminder of Capital’s vibrant network of supporters throughout the years,” Novotny said. 

The bricks at the plaza are a great way for generations of alumni, students and friends to continue leaving behind their legacy one brick or paver at a time.

The university’s web page on buying a brick reads: “We’ve created a place where you can leave a permanent reminder of your time spent at Capital. As bricks provide strength and integrity to a structure, alumni and friends provide strength and integrity to the institutions that helped them shape their lives.” 

There are bricks for families, sororities and fraternities, individuals that graduated certain years, classes, some athletic teams and more. 

“If you look out there and kind of glance over the whole patio, it’s everything from classes that have given funds to help support the project overall to people who have gotten engaged there or started their lives together here at the university and want to commemorate that,” Novotny said. 

The bricks contain quotes, memorials, names, and more. There are some stories about people who buy bricks to memorialize and commemorate their time at the university. 

One brick’s story is about Nicholas Perrini, a professor that started at Capital University in 1958. He stepped down in 2011 and was a professor at the university for a total of 53 years. In order to honor Perrini’s memory, his wife purchased a paver to grant him recognition for his time as a professor. 

Another story mentions a couple that first met when they were introduced to each other at the university. They got engaged in front of a brick with their names on it and the words, “Cap love story.” The couple got married and have a child together now, and they have a marker for where their love story began. 

“We work very closely with facilities in placing the bricks and, right now at least, the newer bricks are going to seem to be going more toward the left side of the fountain as you’re looking at it with your back being on Yochum Hall,” Novotny said. The university tries to balance out the amount of bricks on either side so not all of them are on one side for aesthetic purposes. “There is a lot of space left on the plaza,” she said. 

There are a total of three different sizes for pavers. A four-by-eight paver costs $100, an eight-by-eight paver is $250, and a twelve-by-twelve paver is $500. There is a limited amount of line spacing for different kinds of pavers, respectively. 

“We try to have them install [pavers and bricks] before homecoming of each year. So it says on the site, if you have it by this date, we intend to install it by homecoming,” Novotny said. 

Bricks and pavers purchased are permanent once purchased and will remain at the university indefinitely. The university has plans on restoring and replacing some of the bricks that have lost their black etchings and marks. 

“We’re working, currently, with facilities in cataloging those and to see what the best steps are to replace them so you can actually see the wording a little bit better,” Novotny said. 

Anyone can buy a brick, including students who have not yet graduated. They offer a way of remembrance for students, alumni and others who walk through the plaza to enjoy them. Bricks can be purchased by going to this website.

  • Melissa is a junior Professional Writing and Journalism major with the specialization of pre-law. She plans to pursue a degree at Capital's Law School after graduation.

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