California Baptist University has replaced the Kugel, the giant orbiting globe sculpture at the Ronald L. and Jane Dowden Ellis Great Commission Plaza.
The Kugel was damaged after the light fixture directly above fell on it because of high Santa Ana winds, scratching the globe and cracking the base approximately four years ago. Over time, the base and globe deteriorated in several additional places because of water pressure-related issues, which continued to develop in the globe as it rotated.
Many students touch the floating globe as a tradition when they enroll, and once more for commencement. They also touch it before going on International Service Projects. These traditions come from the idea the globe symbolizes the commitment to live a life of purpose in accordance with the Great Commission.
Steve Smith, director of Facilities and Planning Services, said the initial damages to the Kugel were too severe so they had to do a complete replacement.
“In the beginning we tried to have the grooving and scratches repaired, but that was unsuccessful and the fountain finally had to be shut down for continual usage, and the decision was made to replace it,” Smith said. “It was our objective to replace the Kugel, base and entire pump system prior to the start of the new school year, and the ordering, shipping and reconstruction was managed with this in mind.”
As expected, the project was complete and the Kugel ready to float by the beginning of the school year.
Libby Otten, freshman communication disorders major, said she found out about the new Kugel when she toured the campus.
“I knew over summer it was under construction because I came for the Step Ahead orientation in the summer and there was construction tape over it,” Otten said. “It is cool to know I was one of the many new freshmen to touch the new Kugel.”
Alyssa Wilson, junior kinesiology major, said she is excited about the new Kugel for the upcoming year.
“It’s nice to have a new Kugel because the old one stopped spinning toward the end of the year,” Wilson said. “I’m really glad we received a new one to show how CBU is always improving.”