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Upcoming ren­o­va­tions to Gal­loway have led stu­dents to paint murals on their dorm’s walls. Joel Meng | Col­legian

On the white, flaking walls of Gal­loway Res­i­dence, stu­dents have added their own per­sonal touches to the dorm they call home. Murals depict George Wash­ington crossing the Delaware in blue and black sil­houette, inspiring quo­ta­tions from the pope or “The Office,” and even Muhammad Ali standing over a defeated opponent.

Painted by res­i­dents past and present, murals cover the walls of every hall in the men’s res­i­dence. Any res­ident of Gal­loway can paint a mural, and as ren­o­va­tions to the 58-year-old dorm approach within the year, stu­dents are rushing to mark up soon-to-be-repainted walls.

The best known mural of Gal­loway adorns the wall of the second floor landing: the Hillsdale College Honor Code, signed by hun­dreds of Gal­loway res­i­dents.

“We want the Honor Code wall to be prominent to serve as an anchor for the dorm,” head res­ident assistant senior Dustin Pletan said. In the evening after con­vo­cation, all the new freshman in the dorm go to the mural and sign their names, Pletan said.

“The Honor Code wall is touching because it embodies the legacy that has been thrust on the res­i­dents of Gal­loway,” sophomore Rowan Macwan said. “The wall means so much more to me now than they did my first night here. Seeing so many of the names of upper­classmen and alumni makes me appre­ciate being in this dorm all the more.”

To Pletan, the other murals of the dorms are rooted in the Honor Code mural.

“The Ricky Bobby mural about how if you’re not first, you’re last, takes the idea of honor and excel­lence and inter­prets it in an imag­i­native way,” Pletan said. “As res­i­dents think of new murals, The Gal­loway ideal of the Honor Code and being gen­tlemen, scholars, and heroes gives them inspi­ration.”

“I’d add a mural of William Wallace,” sophomore Joe Welle­meyer said. “He’s the epitome of what Gal­loway rep­re­sents: a gen­tleman, a scholar, and a hero with a bloody sword and blue paint and yelling.”

“I’d add a dope picture of Churchill staring off into the dis­tance with a cigar in his mouth, all in black and white,” sophomore Christian Betz said.

Freshman Paul Ker­rigan agreed: “Give him a big cigar.”

Gal­loway does not have a set process for putting up murals, Pletan said.

“Putting up murals isn’t a plan of the RAs. It’s ideas of our com­munity made incarnate in tech­ni­color on our walls,” Pletan said.

Macwan has put a few ideas of his own on the walls of Gal­loway, including a mural depicting a large tree on a tall hill and a small tree on a narrow hill, sep­a­rated by a bot­tomless ravine with only a small bridge across. Several birds fly near the leafy branches of the larger tree.

“With the tree mural, I wanted to show there’s a gap between where we are and where we’re headed and that we need help to get there,” Macwan said.

Res­i­dents of Gal­loway say that the murals inspire them and give them a sense of com­munity.

“The mural about how the good is the enemy of the great inspires greatness in men,” freshman Reed Lawe said. The murals, whether it’s the RA mural, baseball team mural, or the Honor Code mural, show how the dorm has been passed down, Lawe said.

As the date for ren­o­va­tions to Galloway’s rooms and halls approaches, Gal­loway res­i­dents have mixed feelings.

“The murals are a good way of saying goodbye before the ren­o­vation,” Welle­meyer said. Another res­ident thought the ren­o­va­tions would enhance the artistic sig­nif­i­cance of the murals.

“They’re a good rep­re­sen­tation of human life because you put them up, and then they’ll be destroyed and no one will remember them,” freshman Trevor Vogel said.

Res­i­dents appre­ciate the murals while they remain.

“They add a lot of flavor to the dorm and make it more homey and less like a bunker,” said Ker­rigan.