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Broussard proposes new school statue

UP photo by Delicia Rocha
UP photo by Delicia Rocha

Other universities have statues of their mascot that honor campus traditions, provide good luck, and bring school spirit. One senior is working to bring the same to LU by 2023 for Lamar’s Centennial.

“I’m a big advocate for spirit at Lamar,” Bailey Broussard, Lumberton senior, said. “I woke up one day last spring, and I was like you know what, we should have what other universities have, and that is a statue of our mascot.”

Broussard, a Lamar Ambassador and this year’s Homecoming queen, wants to bring more spirit to the university. When thinking about the idea, she originally thought of a small bird’s nest and that idea grew into a more significant idea.

“I think a Cardinal obviously encompasses our school spirit. I don’t want it to look like Big Red, the physical mascot that we have. I want it to look more like an actual Cardinal bird,” the corporate communication major said. “I think it would be really cool if people could take graduation photos with it or rub its claw for good luck before tests. Something to kind of unite us because Lamar doesn’t have the best spirit, and I’d love to try and change that.”

The approval of the statue is an effort from multiple departments that includes issues of infrastructure, lawn maintenance and other departmental input.

“The prospect of a Cardinal statue on campus is one that our students have encouraged for many years now,” LU President Kenneth Evans said. “Lamar University’s Public Art Committee is currently looking at available options to see what is possible.”

Broussard began this process last spring and has been spearheading the idea from the start. She started by bringing it up to university officials that would be involved in the process.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Kim Steinhagen, chair of Lamar’s Public Art Committee, said. “ I’ve been to so many colleges and campuses that do have mascot sculptures.”

Steinhagen works with donors to bring in funding for the school and is chair of the public art committee for the school, which brings new art to campus.

Broussard said they are looking for artists to commission for the statue. Local artists are preferable, she said, and they are looking to create a diverse selection to choose from.

“We haven’t specifically started talking to an artist yet, but we do have a couple of names of people,” Steinhagen, said.

The final decision would be a collaboration between the Student Government Association since students will be involved in the funding, and the public art committee.

The goal is to have the statue ready by 2023 and unveiled at Lamar’s Centennial. The location of the statue is still being talked about and a decision has not been made.

“Part of my proposal is going to be a location for that statue, I have one in mind, but I might just bring it to the students and see if they agree,” Broussard said. “I would love it to go in the middle of the dining hall lawn. I feel like it’s a centralized area of campus that needs a little more décor.”

Broussard has been working on drafting a proposal and hopefully, before the semester ends, there will be a link for monetary donations towards the statue, she said.

The statue is estimated to cost between $100,000 to $150,000 and will require a significant fundraising effort. The funds cannot come from the university’s public art fund because those funds are tied up in other projects set by the university president and go towards new construction, Steinhagen said.

“This would be a separate project,” Steinhagen said. “We thought this should be a student government project, and Bailey has kind of taken this on as her mission.”

Broussard said she hopes bringing the new statue to campus will encompass more spirit and creates new traditions for years to come.

“I just hope people can take away school spirit in this and we don’t have to wait until 2023,” Broussard said. “If we just look around and realize the opportunities this university gives us. Everyone can enjoy and appreciate the Cardinal statue at our centennial.”

Category: News