SF State will be getting a new statue in the near future as a part of 2015’s Senior Class Gift campaign.
The statue, which has been dubbed the Gator Spirit Statue, will be a 10-foot bronzed gator featuring engraved plaques that can be purchased by current students and alumni, according to the project’s website.
According to Doug Hupke, executive director of the Alumni and Constituent Relations & Annual Giving, the idea for the statue originated in the hopes of promoting school spirit. It was designed by professor emeritus Leonard Hunter, who was a professor of art and sculpture at SF State until
he retired in 2006. Hunter is working with sculptor Ilaman Sabirov on the project, with whom he collaborated in the past to create the bronze busts of former SF State coaches Vic Rowen and Joe Verducci, currently housed in front of the gymnasium.
“The statue started a very long time ago – maybe six or seven years ago – by Ellen Griffin, who was associate vice president at the time,” Hupke said. “It was a unique concept: it shows a gator resting on a globe of the world with keywords that represent the University. It might be a little cheesy, but it looks like the gator is the guardian of SF State’s values.”
The original plan was to erect the statue in Fall 2015, according to Hupke, but because of some structural delays, it’s been pushed. He said he’s still aiming to begin by January 2016, but will try to start construction at a time when it’s least distracting to students.
According to the Alumni Relations website, engraved plaques, which will be permanently adhered to the pedestal of the statue, can be purchased for a $200 contribution to the Senior Class Gift campaign. The plaques are approximately 2 inches by 7 inches and engraved with up to two lines of 15 characters each. So far, they have raised $24,825 in donations through their website toward the $48,000 goal.
Ian Garcia, a fourth year Broadcast and Electronic Creative Arts majors, said that while the statue would be a great way to bring school pride, he has reservations about spending the additional $200 on an engraved plaque.
“I’d more than likely save my money for a Tuesday at Underdogs,” Gracia said.
Sophie Duster, a third-year student, said her concern is whether the money she’d give the school could be going to something more significant.
“Although it’s a good idea, it’s really expensive, and I think that (the money) should be used otherwise, like hiring more people to teach science classes or something,” Duster said.
Duster said she still agreed with the purpose of the statue and that she thinks it could boost school spirit.
“I think that it’s a good way to help get a little more school spirit here at the school,” Duster said. “For example, people that graduate at UCLA have that big bear to take pictures next to, and we don’t have anything here currently.”
While the location of the statue has yet to be finalized, Hupke said he hopes the gator will be a central point for visitors,
students, and alumni to take a picture.
“I really think the University needs to have a place for the community to come together and encourage school spirit, and I think (the statue) would be it,” Hupke said.