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College Rededicates Peace Lion

April 30, 2018

On Sunday, April 29, St. John Fisher College formally rededicated the Peace Lion, and celebrated the installation of a commemorative plaque in honor of Jennifer Patterson Koon.

The Peace Lion

The Peace Lion, “Courage,” was designed and painted by Fisher students and is located in the front of the library in the Campus Center Quad. The creation of the Lion was funded by the Jennifer Patterson Koon Peacemaking Foundation.  Koon’s parents established the foundation in her honor and memory after her tragic passing during her sophomore year at Fisher in 1993. During her brief life, Koon was known as a peacemaker, modeling respect for persons and diverse groups, as well as the environment.

Elizabeth King Durand, who has taught drawing and painting at Fisher for many years, explained the students’ creative process in designing and painting the lion:

Members of the campus community attend the rededication of the Peace Lion.

“When the students who created the lion began the project they had a number of attributes and symbols in mind. The lion's multi-colored mane represents diversity. Rising from the earth are various shades of green and images of plant life suggesting growth and vitality. These colors meld into shades of blue that symbolize water, sky and clouds. An abstract dove of peace rests on the lion’s forehead, calling forth peaceful thoughts. The golden gleam in his eye represents hope,” she said. “I believe the student artists achieved the right balance of strength and peace.”

The Peace Lion is also the symbol for the Ethics Minor Program at the College.  Drs. Tim Madigan and Linda MacCammon, who organized the event, hope that Fisher faculty, staff, and students will take a moment to visit the lion.

“It is a beautiful tribute to an amazing young woman whose life was a model for peace, justice, and personal courage,” MacCammon said.