RICHMOND, Ind. (WDTN) – Students are graduating from college and earning their diplomas, but one graduating senior wanted a more permanent display of her memories and accomplishments.

“The Heart” at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana holds a special place in Thea Clarkberg’s heart.

“‘The Heart’ is the central sort of quad,” said Clarkberg. “It’s just a great place to gather.”

A biology major from Ithaca, New York, she wanted to always keep a piece of Earlham with her.

“I decided to get a tattoo of ‘The Heart,’ the aerial view of campus,” said Clarkberg, who got the ink at Tarot Tattoo.

Thea said “The Heart” was a place where she would come in good times and in bad to play and also to reflect, so it only made sense for her to get a tattoo as a permanent reminder of her college experience.

“One of the biggest roles ‘The Heart’ played recently was during the pandemic, we didn’t want to eat inside. So we would get takeout meals and spend all of our mealtimes together outside,” said Clarkberg.

The tattoo is a symbol of her last four years.

“It represents not the institution of Earlham necessarily, but it more represents the family I built here and the home I built here,” said Clarkberg. “There’s a saying – there’s an angel on your shoulder. So I picture there’s an angel on my right shoulder. When I’m feeling down, there’s always that hand of comfort of people that I love there for me.”

With her tattoo as she prepares to graduate, she will forever be wearing her heart on her sleeve.

Earlham College will hold its graduation ceremony Saturday, May 21.