Collge of Design, Construction & Planning
Solar Decathlon 2011

The Challenge Coin

September 26, 2012
One of the landscape architecture students involved in the design project for the Gainesville Fisher House therapy garden had a unique idea.

Junior Adam McCollister suggested a space or an area where soldiers and families of the Fisher House could have the option of leaving behind one or more of their acquired challenge coins.

Challenge coins are small coins or medallions – most often from the military – that bear an organization’s emblem and are carried by the organization’s members. Traditionally, they are given to boost morale and prove membership when challenged, but they are most often presented by unit commanders in recognition of a special achievement.

“I thought it would be really neat for visitors of the house to look through all of the coins, and certainly there would be occasions where someone may recognize a coin that he or she has at home,” McCollister said. “Just another reminder of the bonds shared amongst the military and their families.”

The idea went over well with other students, the design review board and others involved in the project, he said.

In fact, at the conclusion of the students’ part of the project, the members of the design review board presented each student with a plaque and their very own Fisher House challenge coin.

“Both my Pop-Pop (grandpa) and Dad spent 30 years as active duty Army, so this project definitely took on a special meaning for me,” McCollister said. “Having the opportunity to participate in this process has been an absolute privilege, and I cannot wait to see the final design once it is complete.”