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FUPO facelift

By Ron Wagner ’93, Contributing Writer

When Furman police chief Tom Saccenti turned Ross McClain’s Graphic Design II class loose on his force’s vehicle and shoulder patch/logo designs, he asked them to come up with something that made FUPO “stand apart.”

Be careful what you wish for.

“We had three options. One, that our guys didn’t choose, was the best design I’ve ever seen for a police vehicle. It was amazing,” Saccenti said. “We had another one that was really cool. It had the Paladin knight coming out onto the white part of the doors. It was insane awesome. But it almost like, crap man, you’d better have a warrior getting out of that car. It was hardcore.”

Even Casey Lovegrove ’14 figured one of those ideas, created by classmates Derek Nelson and Katie Keith, respectively, would be named the contest winner after a vote by Saccenti’s officers. It turned out, however, that Lovegrove’s more conservative approach was the path to having her work seen on the Furman campus for years to come.

“I was surprised (they chose my design), because I spent way more time on my patch than the truck. I just had better ideas for the patch,” she said. “I remember sitting in my apartment with Sharpies filling in this truck template with any little design I could think of, and the one that ended up winning didn’t exactly come from a super-brilliant idea.”

Lovegrove is selling herself short, obviously. Her tight sketch, with bold black letters highlighted by a Paladin-purple swoosh, has a classic appearance with a modern flair. “(It’s) a very, very professional design. It looks like a cop car,” Saccenti said. “We wanted you to be able to see our car from across campus and say, that’s a cop car.”

Keith wasn’t shut out, however. Her Paladin motif found a home on the new badges and uniform patches, and both she and Lovegrove were awarded full-semester parking passes for their efforts. Nelson received a half-semester pass. Anna Riethman was the other finalist.

Lovegrove, a Greenville native hoping to attend The Portfolio Center in Atlanta, won’t get much use out her award thanks to her graduation, but she said the experience will give her something more valuable. “Because I’m thinking about going into the graphic-design field this will be a great thing for my resume,” she said.

Saccenti became the Furman police chief in 2013, replacing Bob Miller, who had held the position since 1972. The first of many changes made was moving the department’s officers from their cramped corner in the back of McAlister Auditorium to more spacious digs in Hipp Hall, and the logo contest coincided with a uniform modification to green pants and khaki shorts he says will more accurately represent “the park feel” of Furman’s campus.

“I wish (the new car logo) was a little more artsy, but you’re dealing with old-school policemen,” Saccenti said. “That (new) badge was a push. They have worn this (uniform) their entire life.”

McClain felt that Nelson’s green-and-black car design, with “Furman Campus Police” written in yellow on the side, was the most inspired of his students’ creations, but the larger issue is the class came through with quality work.

“I think Tom went safe on it,” McClain said with a laugh. “He chickened out. . . The more he talked about (what he was looking for), I was like, this is a really great concept—a private school that’s on the Swamp Rabbit Trail that’s a park basically. And having a softer approach to the police force but still having that authority is a good idea. That’s what a lot of students heard, and especially Derek. He really took it and ran with it.”

Furman will unveil FUPO’s new look on Aug. 1.


Last updated January 1, 1970
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