‘Knowledge is power,’ ‘You haven’t failed until you stop trying’ among nine added onto new outdoor furniture to inspire students


Class of 1968 reunion committee member Jim Gronwall adds glue Thursday, March 9, to the inspirational message plaque that will be attached to the center of the black and yellow bench underneath the “Class of 1968” engraving. The bench in front of the library and the plaque are among the nearly $10,000 in outdoor furniture that school officials purchased using money raised by the ‘68 reunion group.

“Knowledge is power.”

“The only dreams impossible to reach are the ones you never pursue.”

“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

These are among the nine inspirational messages engraved in white lettering on a black background that members of the Class of 1968 reunion committee funded as part of a campaign that raised nearly $10,000 last summer. A bulk of that amount also went into the cost of purchasing six benches and three tables — all painted with school colors of yellow and black — that were installed last month throughout the campus for student use.

On Thursday, March 9, 10 of the reunion committee members came to campus during fourth period to look at the newly placed outdoor furniture and to present school officials with the 6-inch-by-4-inch plastic plaque. The members glued all nine of the plaques onto each table and bench themselves. 

“I think it really added something to the overall effect of what we’ve done here are thought-provoking messages,” reunion committee co-chairwoman Pat Simonian said. “I wish I would have done better in school if I had little messages like these, so maybe that will do the same thing for the students of tomorrow.”

Upon internet searches, Simonian and committee co-chairman Brad Rawlins chose inspirational quotes from famous authors and scholars themselves. Rawlins said it took longer to install the inspirational messages because of the schedule conflicts the members had.

“Pat was actually the brainchild of the inspirational messages, and I think it really added something to the overall effect of what we’ve done here,” he said. “If I had little messages like these, I think I would have done better in school.”

Junior Charlize Cachuela, who has been using one of the newly added tables near the 50s building, said she noticed the newly installed messages during break on Thursday.

“I think it’s a cool concept because it kind of brings more positive energy to the table and toward this area since a lot of people are in here,” Cachuela said of the statement: “The only dreams impossible to reach are the ones you never pursue.” “Overall, the message is really nice; if you’re having a bad day, I feel like you could just read it and feel better.”

The junior said she wishes to see more similar projects on campus.

“I think these make Sunny Hills really pretty, and it’s like a decoration for the school,” she said. “I think it’ll be cool because it’d be like, ‘Oh, wow, this is my school; look how cool it is with all the art and inspirational quotes we have.’”

As someone who observed the installation by the 30s building while passing by to visit the Lyceum during his fourth period, freshman Caleb Solis said that although it’s a good addition, he thinks not many of his peers would pay attention to them.

“Maybe there’ll be people walking by, and it’ll brighten up their day, but I also feel like most people won’t really pay attention to those,” said Solis, who sits on the benches in front of the Lyceum during break.

Junior Erik Kniss, who was sitting on a table during break Thursday, saw the same saying that Cachuela spotted.

“I think it’ll make a great impact on the Sunny Hills campus,” Kniss said. “It will inspire kids to do good and reach for high goals.”