OMAHA - Monday, Aug. 4, will be a monumental day on the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) campus — and that’s no bull.
The date marks the arrival and installation of UNO’s long-anticipated Maverick Monument. The 8-foot-high, 1,500-pound bronze mascot statue will take its place on campus in front of the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse and Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building.
The installation is scheduled to begin at 7 a.m.
Seattle-area artist Jocelyn Russell, who created the monument, will personally deliver the statue. Russell will drive nearly 1,000 miles from the Adonis Bronze Foundry in Alpine, Utah, where it is being cast, to oversee the installation process, which will be done via a 90-ton crane.
Russell will be available for print, radio and TV interviews following the installation.
The Maverick Monument commemorates the UNO Alumni Association’s 100th anniversary, which was celebrated last year. A committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff in June 2013 chose Russell to create the monument. Based on a fighting bull, it depicts a powerful, muscular Maverick overlooking campus. He symbolizes the determination, pride, success and forward lean of UNO students and alumni with an eye toward opportunities before them.
“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 statue represents the Maverick, UNO’s mascot since a student vote in 1971, and is the first mascot statue in the University of Nebraska system. It is expected to become an enduring campus icon sparking new traditions and offering interactive photo opportunities for students, alumni, visitors and media.
Approximately three weeks after the installation, the statue will be “unleashed” with a public dedication on Sunday, Aug. 24. Russell also will attend the dedication, as will Chancellor Christensen, Student President Jordan Koch, students, faculty and staff. All media are invited to the dedication. An advisory release with additional information will be sent prior to the ceremony.
For more information about the Aug. 4 installation or Aug. 24 Unleashing, please contact:
Included below are details regarding aspects of the monument project:
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. The Maverick Monument is her first Nebraska commission.
The monument will face west across campus. It will be installed amid a tree-covered plaza that will include a donor recognition wall, lighting and landscaping.
The Maverick as Mascot
UNO students in 1971 voted “Mavericks” as the university’s new nickname, narrowly defeating “Unicorns” as the new moniker. 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).
About the UNO Alumni Association
UNO’s first class of graduates founded the association in 1913. The UNO alumni network now numbers 100,000 living graduates worldwide, 43,000 in metropolitan Omaha.
The UNO Alumni Association and Maverick Mascots
The UNO Alumni Association in the 1970s previously sponsored live bull mascots at home football games — Sudden Sam (1972) and Victor E. Maverick (1973-76). Victor E. spent game days in a corral at the north end of Al F. Caniglia Field and was run onto the field following scores by three student handlers. In the 1990s the Association also helped underwrite the athletic department’s costumed “Durango” mascot.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.