Alumni Legacy Wall, Thomas Jefferson University and Health System

Philadelphia, PA

Thomas Jefferson University and Health System wanted a wall that would celebrate the philanthropic contributions of their alumni and act as a gateway into their new Alumni Center. It was especially important to emphasize connections between legacy donors – members of families who have attended the university over multiple generations.


Along with a local digital design firm, Interactive Mechanics, Metcalfe designed a dynamic wall that responds to visitors as they search through a database of donors on an interactive touchscreen. A visitor can search by family, graduating year or field of study. As the search results become available, they are revealed on a corresponding array of backlit donor names. This array is illuminated by a programmable matrix of LED lights. The lights respond to the touchscreen to highlight only the names that meet the visitor’s search criteria.


To make sure the wall remained interesting to students and staff who walk past it in their daily routine, Metcalfe embedded a series of secondary monitors. These monitors feature a rotating collection of photographs of recent events, historic information and their latest breakthroughs in science and technology. 


By showcasing the multi-generational legacy families and many connections between donors, we provided a unique and memorable way for visitors to feel connected to generations past and the Jefferson community as a whole.


FUN FACT: There are 9600 LEDs.