*Feature photo: Sheridan College Facilities Director Kent Andersen explains the 15-foot sundial on the SC campus. / Pitchengine Communities* (Sheridan, Wyo.) — Sheridan College is home to what may be Wyoming's biggest sundial, one that was painstakingly planned over years to be fit for an institution of higher learning. The story of the 15-foot granite sundial starts with Josh Oakleaf, a landscaper who began his career in Sheridan around 2003. At that time, he was working on the Edward A. Whitney Academic Center front lawn at Sheridan College, with a landscape review board that included Tom Kinnison, Paul Young, Cheryl Heath, Patrick Henderson and Kent Andersen. "The space is a high-traffic area," Josh told Dally when he explained the placement of the sundial near Whitney Commons. "We decided the space needed something noteworthy, and we all agreed on a sundial," Josh said. [image: Inline image 4]*Early Sheridan College sundial concept. h/t Josh Oakleaf / Pitchengine Communities* The team designed what Josh called a low-functioning sundial, but they all agreed they wanted to have a high-functioning installment on campus. "I started searching all over the U.S. to find someone who could help us create a sundial that was high functioning, fit for an educational institution," Josh said. In addition, the sundial would need to have markings denoting Sheridan milestones, like when Edward A. Whitney died, when his trust was established and when Whitney Benefits gave land for Sheridan College in 1948. [image: Inline image 3] *On close inspection, the sundial reveals Sheridan College history. / Pitchengine Communities photo* Josh found award-winning sundial artisan John Carmichael
. From Arizona, this world-renowned
sundial artist took the plans, dates and idea for the enormous sundial and
created a working object fit for the college.
The story does not end there.
By this time, Josh had moved his business to Lander, but was still working
on the Sheridan College project. He needed to find a material that would
display the etching, that would withstand Wyoming weather and that would be
large enough to fit the space.
He headed to Lander-based Eagle Bronze for
There, he happened to come across famous stone sculptor Arturo Di Modica,
most famous for his "Charging Bull " situated on
Wall Street. It was Di Modica who suggested the group use granite for the
Finding a stone quarry that could supply, etch and transport such a piece
led Josh to Canada-based Across the Board Creations, which cut, etched and
shipped the stone from Canada to Sheridan, where it sits today.
The plaza is nearly complete, and Sheridan College's Kent Andersen says it
will be done by graduation.
Josh Oakleaf says the Sheridan College sundial project was by far the most
challenging he has taken on in his career.
"I bought, like, 15 books on sundials," Josh says. "I thought I was in over
But the work paid off. At 15 feet, installed by Dick Anderson Construction,
the sundial is stunning—and may one day be on the North American Sundial
As it stands, there are only two other sundials in the state of Wyoming on
the list, and at 13.4 inches and 18 inches in diameter, they are much
smaller than the Whitney version on the Sheridan College campus.
See the Wyoming sundials so far listed with the North American Sundial