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Mural at Local High School Creates Lasting Legacy

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With the cut of a ribbon, it became official. A mural created by a Mercyhurst Prep graduate had been given to current and future Mercyhurst students.

"I would say this is the most important project in my career so far because I'm from Mercyhurst and this is kind of a homecoming for me to come back to this community and create for it,” said Todd Scalise, who is known nationally and internationally for his artistic talents.

Scalise is a 1991 graduate of Mercyhurst Prep. Over the last five and a half months, he turned 100 photos submitted by students, faculty, and alumni into the artwork that best represents Mercyhurst. Those photos now cover 24 pillars at the front of the school, and hundreds of feet of roofing on the side of the school.

"The mural will last for generations, and it represents the generations that came before us as well,” said Mary Ellen Dahlkemper, president of Mercyhurst Prep. “Every symbol and every word that appears on the pillars was submitted by our own students and alumni of the school."

Scalise says he hopes his work will prove inspirational to students in the future, but he himself is proving to be inspirational right now.

"I think it's incredible that he was able to go out into the world and be an artist and share this gift with people all over country and all over the world,” said Libby Federici, a Mercyhurst Prep senior.

"He went here, graduated in 91, coming back 20 years later and doing something good for the school,” said Dan Fitzgerald, also a senior. “I think that probably something fostered in him by MPS."

Scalise and his team of Mercyhurst students received more than 600 photos. Funding for the $55,000 project was all privately donated.

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