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2013.09.30 > For Immediate Release
contact: Anthony Flott - UNO Alumni Association
phone: 402.554.2989 - email: unonews@unomaha.edu

UNO Alumni Association to Bring Maverick Monument to Campus

Omaha - Something monumental is coming to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus to commemorate the UNO Alumni Association’s centennial.

For years, UNO students have dreamed of having a mascot statue as a rallying point on campus. In 2014, UNO’s Alumni Association is giving students the “Maverick Monument” — an 8-foot-high, 1,500-pound bronze bull statue representing the university’s mascot.

The monument will be part of a newly renovated plaza in front of the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse and the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building on UNO’s Dodge Campus.

It is anticipated that the monument will be formally unveiled with a public dedication sometime next fall.

“UNO students have been looking forward to this Maverick statue and are excited that it is finally becoming a reality,” said Martha Spangler, UNO’s student body president and regent. “The Alumni Association is very generous for making such a grand addition that will serve as our campus icon for years to come.”

In June, a committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff chose Seattle-area artist Jocelyn Russell to design the monument, concluding a rigorous invitational that included proposals from five artists - three of which were from Omaha.

Russell’s statue, based on a fighting bull, depicts a powerful, muscular Maverick overlooking campus. He symbolizes the determination, pride and success of UNO students and alumni and the opportunities before them.

The statue is the first to represent UNO’s mascot since a 1971 student vote that named “Mavericks” as UNO’s new identifier. It is also the first mascot statue in the University of Nebraska system.

The monument is expected to create new traditions and offer interactive photo opportunities for students, alumni, visitors and media.

“The Maverick Monument is the embodiment of UNO’s unique spirit and strength,” UNO Chancellor John Christensen said. “We look forward to this addition to our campus as a unifying symbol and rallying point, and for its artistic value. The campus community is grateful to its Alumni Association for their leadership in bringing the project to fruition.”

In September 2012 UNO’s Student Government passed a resolution allocating funds for the project. The Alumni Association first proposed the monument to its board of directors in November 2012 before bringing the proposal to numerous campus groups and the university’s administration, incorporating stakeholders’ feedback into the final proposal.

“I can already imagine generations of alumni returning to campus with their children and grandchildren to have a photo with Maverick Monument,” said Lee Denker, president of the UNO Alumni Association. “This gift is a powerful way to kick off our next 100 years of alumni service to UNO.”

High-resolution photos of the monument, plaza and artist Jocelyn Russell are available for individual download at http://unoalumni.org/mavmonumentpics

All photos also are available for download in one folder at Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/rmns8mdowgrlriy/p3t8L5-C_j

Note: Monument photos are of the clay version. Photos of the bronzed scale model will be available soon.

On Nov. 8, the Alumni Association will host a 100th Anniversary Celebration on the UNO campus. UNO graduate and nationally acclaimed musician Billy McGuigan will perform his “Rock Legends” show at the community-wide event. Proceeds will support the monument and plaza. UNO’s first class of graduates founded the UNO Alumni Association in 1913. In the 100 years that have followed, UNO’s alumni network has spread worldwide and will soon number 100,000 living graduates, with more than 43,000 in metropolitan Omaha.

For more information on the Maverick Monument or the UNO Alumni Association’s anniversary celebration, please contact Anthony Flott, aflott@unomaha.edu or by phone at 402.554.2989.

Monument and Artist Information

Jocelyn Russell — Artist
Jocelyn Russell has been a wildlife artist for 25 years and has completed numerous commissions throughout the United States. Her portfolio includes Utah State University’s bull statue and BYU’s cougar statue. She recently completed statue projects for the Boys Scouts of America in Oklahoma and the U.S. Marine Corps Museum in Virginia. Russell previously lived and worked for 15 years on a cattle ranch in Colorado. Today she works from her home studio on San Juan Island in Washington. Russell visited with students, alumni and others on campus in June and will return for the Association’s 100th Anniversary Celebration Nov. 8. The Maverick Monument is her first Nebraska commission.

Casting the Monument
Russell has created a bronze, scale model of the monument that will be on display at the Alumni Association’s Thompson Center and locations throughout campus. She now is developing the full-scale monument, which will be cast at the Adonis Bronze foundry in Alpine, Utah. When finished, it will stand 8 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 1,500 pounds.

Plaza Specs
Construction on the monument plaza will begin in late spring 2014. It will be located in front of the Fieldhouse and HPER building and will feature a raised platform on which the monument will stand, looking due west across campus. The tree-covered plaza will include an accessible ramp to the platform, a donor recognition wall, lighting and landscaping.

Funding and Sponsorship
All donors will be recognized on a wall leading up to the monument platform. Donors of $10,000 or more will receive a maquette scale model. Donations can be made online or in the envelope provided in the center of this magazine. Proceeds from the Association’s 100th Anniversary celebration Nov. 8 on the UNO campus also will support the project.

The Maverick as Mascot
UNO students in 1971 voted “Mavericks” as the university’s new nickname. UNO teams previously had been known as the “Indians” (1939-71), Cardinals (1924-39), Maroons (1920-24), Crimson & Black (1913-20) and Ponies/Shetlands (1912-13).

See more about the Maverick Monument at the UNO Alumni Association website: http://unoalumni.org/mavmonument.

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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.

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© 2014 University Communications. voice: 402.554.2129, fax: 402.554.3541, unonews@unomaha.edu