“Flying the flag” is just one of the many ways students, alumni and fans around the country represent Cougar pride. WSU alumnus, Adam Horn, a social science teacher at Battle Ground High School, took his Cougar pride and “flying the flag” to a new level. He harnessed the power of social media to create a mosaic of Washington State University’s Martin Stadium from hundreds of photos of people flying the Cougar flag.
Horn earned his bachelor’s in secondary education and history from WSU Pullman, and graduated from WSU Vancouver with his master’s in education leadership in 2012.
He created the art piece for an annual door-decorating contest at the high school that began several years ago to promote “college readiness.” Horn says he posted in the Facebook group “Die Hard Cougs” to ask people to share photos of themselves flying the cougar flag. The group currently has more than 23,000 members and Horn says he received almost 500 unique photos.
After the tedious work of downloading each individual photo, Horn says he uploaded them to a website that created the mosaic. The finished product contains nearly 2,200 photos (including duplicates used to make all the necessary colors).
Horn says he kept it simple the first few years of the contest, but last year he used the same Facebook group to ask people why they loved WSU. He then used the top 50 comments to decorate his door.This year he stepped it up with the mosaic.
The door decor has gained popularity both within the high school and online. Many people from the Facebook group have contacted Horn asking for copies or inquiring if they can buy a print.
In regards to next year’s door decorating contest, Horn says he hasn’t determined what he will do yet. “I haven’t quite started thinking about it yet,” he said. “Reaching out on social media was a pretty cool product last year and it worked out well this year too. So maybe we’ll try to do something else with that again next year and bring in all the Cougs that are out there.”