Janet L. McCoy


AUBURN -- The Auburn University campus will be aglow from the light of more than 300 expertly carved jack-o-lanterns on Oct. 27 during the 12th annual pumpkin carve by architecture students.

The School of Architecture's chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students sponsors the annual event, which will begin at 6 p.m. in the Dudley Hall Courtyard.

This year, architecture, industrial design and building science students will begin carving pumpkins at 3 p.m., and then light them at 6 p.m. for judging and public viewing.

Marion McElroy of Tuscaloosa, a fourth-year architecture student, said the carved pumpkins and any left-over pumpkins will be sold this year. The proceeds will finance academic efforts by AIAS, including support to send students to conferences and other activities. Students will also sell T-shirts and food.

"It's really fun and a great way for us to express our creative and design ability," said McElroy, who is coordinating the 2000 pumpkin carve.

David Hinson, an associate professor of architecture and advisor to AIAS, said there is a diverse group of students who participate.

"We have a large number who are in the very beginning of their design education and it's an interesting study for them to take something familiar to them and infuse it with a new level of creativity," he says. "Our young design students are challenged to think outside convention and use unconventional ways to approaching something they are familiar with and see what results.

"For our upper-level students, it's a way for them to pushing unconventional ideas to the extreme in a playful way."

Hinson said he enjoys watching the thousands who come to view the pumpkins each year.

"Our guests always enjoy seeing what's been created and it's fun to watch their reactions to seeing what the students are able to create from something as simple as a pumpkin," he added.

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CONTACT: McElroy, 334/826-1999; Hinson, at 334/844-5438; and AIAS publicity chairman Robert Littleton, 334/821-7301.