Petals, Petals Everywhere

In honor of Rose Float’s 75th anniversary, one student redesigns a campus study space to celebrate the program’s Learn by Doing legacy.

A student in a black Rose Float polo smiles in a computer lab decorated with float photos

While millions of viewers watch Cal Poly floats shine in the Rose Parade every January, Mustangs on campus can soak up 75 years of flower power while studying in the Julian A. McPhee University Union.

The redesigned San Luis Lounge is now in bloom with Cal Poly Rose Float photos, memorabilia, and a timeline of key milestones thanks to a senior project by the program’s president, Collin Marfia. He combined his Rose Float know-how with his majors in history, anthropology and geography to create a chronological showcase of innovation that snakes along the walls, connecting the campus community to the program’s history that stretches back to 1949. The lounge is actually the program’s trophy room: each float photo’s ornate gold frame serves as the universities’ official award from the parade.

The lounge redesign is the first part of Marfia’s senior project; the second is a coffee table book, titled “The Faces Behind the Floats: 75 Years of Cal Poly Rose Float,” that celebrates the students who built the program. Marfia partnered with Rayna Farkas, lead graphic designer for Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) on both facets of the project. The endeavor helped Marfia sharpen his archival organization skills and give back to one of the defining experiences of his college career.

Read more about the project on the Cal Poly News site.