We recently participated in a new community outreach program, the “Art of Convergence,” a sculpture competition that we sponsored for California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), for the spring semester sculpture students. This competition speaks to our dedication to community involvement and represents our passion for fostering education in sciences, mathematics, engineering, and the arts, because the students of today will become the engineers, technologists and innovators of our future.
CSUF students created their sculptural representations of ‘convergence’ leveraging donated IT equipment, everything from racks, to cables, to adapters. Once they were complete, sculptures arrived en masse to our Costa Mesa office where they were on display for the first round of voting, by Emulex employees locally as well as globally (voting via our Intranet by viewing pictures and videos submitted by students). Some of these sculptures were massive! More than 400 lbs. up to 7 feet tall, and some even including electricity or video. The sculptures were even more impressive in person, so it was a real treat to see them all.
The 10 semi-finalists, as a result of employee voting, were announced on Friday, May 18, just before our May 22 Art of Convergence award ceremony and celebration. In tandem, we held a second vote publicly via our Facebook page, to determine a People’s Choice award winner. This voting process was held in tandem with the employee voting and a winner was also determined for the May 22 award ceremony. Final judging was held at the award ceremony itself by our wonderful panel of Art of Convergence judges, which included me, Dr. Joseph Arnold, College of the Arts Dean, CSUF, Jeff Benck, our president and COO, Richard Chang, Arts and Entertainment Writer/Visual Art Critic for The Orange County Register, Mike Rockenbach, our CFO, and Evan Senn, local art critic and blogger for the OC Art Blog.
We proudly announced the winners at our awards ceremony at the Center Club. The $5,000 grand prize winner was Ryan Kidder, who created ‘Cranial Convergence,’ an impressive, 7-foot tall sculpture (check out a picture here) and he also won our Facebook People’s Choice award for a much-deserved double-win for his sculpture which truly defined ‘convergence!’ The $1,000 runner-up was Mark Upson, who created ‘The Convergence Machine’ (see a picture here). We also donated $5,000 to the university directly, to help continue funding art education and $450 to the art department directly, for each vote for the People’s Choice awards CSUF.
We proudly celebrated not only the winners of the ‘Art of Convergence’ competition but the students who participated in this program at the ‘Art of Convergence’ awards ceremony and we thank the students, their families ,the faculty and Professor Jim Jenkins, in particular, for their hard work, dedication and commitment to the Art of Convergence project. If you’d like to see pictures of the award ceremony, the sculptures (pictures and video), check out our microsite here. This was an extremely successful event and community program for us and we look forward to doing something similar in the future.