The Catholic University of America

Aug. 25, 2011

Giant “Thermometer” Gauges Benchmarks in Charitable Service Campaign


The "thermometer" is on display in the Pryzbyla lobby.

A 10-foot, sculpted wooden “thermometer” now stands in Catholic University’s Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center to help gauge progress in the Cardinal Service Commitment, a service campaign marking the University’s 125th anniversary.

Ryan McKibbin, director of the fabrication lab at the University’s School of Architecture and Planning, crafted the display from maple, red oak, and plywood. He installed Plexiglas numbers that can be flipped as service benchmarks are reached.

In thanksgiving to God for more than a century of blessings at the nation’s flagship Catholic university, students, alumni, faculty, and staff are striving to perform 125,000 hours of charitable service by next Founders Day, April 10, 2012.

As members of the University community log their service hours at the campaign’s webpage,, increments of 2,500 hours will be marked on the giant “thermometer” installed yesterday in the Pryzbyla Center lobby.

Topping the display is the University’s crest, which McKibbin fashioned using the lab’s state-of-the-art computer numerical control machine. After McKibbin developed a virtual, three-dimensional simulation of the design on a computer, the machine carved the crest in wood.

Randall Ott, dean of the architecture and planning school, says the “thermometer” helps make progress in the Cardinal Service Commitment “graphic and comprehensible.”

  Ryan McKibbin works on the fabrication of the Cardinal Service Commitment "thermometer."

Between May15 and Aug. 25, the University community has logged 25,227 hours of service in the campaign.

For more information on the Cardinal Service Commitment and to log hours, visit




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