From the new paverwalk along North Lake Village on the northern tip of campus to SoVi dining hall to the south – and all buildings, sidewalks and boardwalks between – young Eagles take off on their daily educational flights hauling an enthusiasm for knowledge and piles of books, writing utensils, notebooks, laptops, tablets, snacks, drinks, toiletries, and heaven-knows-what-else stashed inside canvas, leather, fabric or plastic carriers strapped across shoulders.
For some students, the bag must have swag. Taylor Pearce (right), a junior art major from Homestead, goes with the weathered leather look in a pack first broken in by her mom at Florida
International University in the late 1980s. “My mom inspires me, so I love having a piece of her with me when I’m in class as a token of encouragement,” she said.
Sophomore special education major Nick Colli from Pompano Beach hand-stitched his artistic bag (1) slathered with patches, and says the adornments are “all stuff that are keys to happiness.” But for Nathaniel Phenes, a Fort Myers junior majoring in marine science, his backpack (2) has a deeper meaning. He spent four years of active duty in the U.S. Army and is finishing his eighth year as a reservist. “The bag reminds me of everything sacrificed by my brothers, sisters and myself,” he said, “and helps me stay focused on moving forward in my life while I continue to honor the siblings we Americans have lost.”