On Thursday, April 26, 2007, 106 tons of gravel were brought to the Alfred State College campus to create a labyrinth, a unicursal (one continuous movement) path that provides a walker with a quiet, contemplative space where thinking can subside so that imagination and spirit can arise. A labyrinth's path circles slowly to the center and then flows back again to its beginning.
The Alfred State labyrinth is located in a quiet grassy space opposite TA Parish Hall and the MacKenzie residential complex. Once completed, it will be available for the use of anyone in the Alfred community.
Students, community members, and faculty/staff participated in moving and raking gravel to create the pathways. Additionally, many Alfred State students had already been involved in the early phases of its planning and construction. A surveying technology curriculum student first checked the property lines; an architecture class worked together to create the labyrinth design; and the surveyor translated it to the grassy surface. A landscaping class removed sod from the pathways in preparation for the gravel.
Funds for this project were provided by a college donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The labyrinth is intended to grow in beauty as contributions for small gardens, benches, pathways, and flowering plants arrive in the years to come.
Labyrinths are located in cultures around the world. In his book, Labyrinths: Ancient Myths & Modern Uses, (2001) Sig Lonegren states: "Labyrinths are amazing tools. They can work real magic--moments that bring worlds together. Invented in the mists of prehistory by a culture that functioned on quite different levels of consciousness than we do today, these magical single-path mazes can enhance the possibility of bringing together our analytical or rational mode of consciousness with our intuitive or spiritual levels of consciousness." (p. 9)