The mural was designed and built at Nebraska artist Reinhold Marxhausen's home in Seward and brought to Southeast and reassembled in the auditorium. The Class of 1974 and 1975 donated a total of $1,000 to the project. The remaining $2000 was raised from donations from school club activities and projects, civic organizations, and LSE alumni together with various student council fund raising projects.
The mural was officially dedicated on February 11, 1976. Marxhausen's title for the mural was "investment."
In his own words: "It begins with a line and a shape. They are both dark, the line...represents the past. The shape represents the seed...dark and shriveled. This also represents hope and trust or an investment. When you are a student in high school and have teachers, take courses and get involved in activities which at the time seem useless and even dumb...you are trusting, filling yourself up to the potential you will some day utilize."
"Imagine the early settlers in Nebraska, a desert land of grass, even after much hardship the farmers continued to plant the shriveled seeds. Waiting, trusting, hoping. Today he continues to hope...compared to the desert of the past, Nebraska is a garden. The tapered line on the right hand side is green and it represents the present and future. The mural has four large shapes which could represent the four seasons. The first is dark, the seed under the ground, the desert landscape. The second opens up, the seed germinates, the shape raises and turns. The third opens some more and the fourth is release, new seeds, harvest, joy celebration, praise, affirmation, hope restored, freedom, open new horizons, dividends, fulfillment, trust renewed, the alumni who return and remember the dried seeds."
"Trust and hope, it begins here at Southeast. Yoru school colors say it. It begins with black and ends with gold. The materials for the mural are wood, ceramic, formica and metal. The details are subtle and readable up close."
The progression of shapes, colors, textures
Evolve and change
Darkness is the unknown, untried, the future
Where fear can be the master
But darkness is also the color of hope and trust
Investment of seeds or knowledge are covered
With self or soil
And waiting begins
What good can come of misfits and
Like shriveled up pea seeds thrown into dirt
Who knows, now
With hope must be sweat and care
Swearing and tenderness
Tearing and shaping
But our plans are not our plans
Interruptions, disaster, death
And all unexpected mysteries
Shape us also
And we live
Faith can give strength
And clean, and renew
With celebrations and fulfillment
Fling out new seeds to others
For new horizons to begin
R.P. Marxhausen, 1976