Uncategorized

Statue revealed at Homecoming opening ceremonies

A new campus tradition was born during last year’s Homecoming opening ceremonies.

The U statue – a project three years in the making – was unveiled.

The Cane-colored U encased by stainless steel stands at the center of campus on a patch of grass by the Rock. Students are encouraged to pass by and rub the U for good luck on the way to exams, athletic events, interviews or any other important occasion.

“Homecoming theme this year is all about tradition and the U. We thought it would be great to incorporate this new tradition into Homecoming,” said Bhumi Patel, the former Student Government (SG) executive-at-large external and now the current SG President.

UM President Donna E. Shalala, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Whitely and Sebastian the Ibis all helped to pull off the blue tarp and reveal the U statue.

“It looks very clean, classy and simple,” said sophomore Steven De Nicola, who attended the statue’s unveiling.

Freshman Freddy Michaud, who was also present at the ceremony, said that the statue makes campus look more complete.

“I have three tests next week, so I’ll spend a whole bunch of my time there by the statue,” he said.

The U statue was first proposed by the 2010-2011 SG Executive Board, which ran for office with a platform to temper the campus. The board included President Christina Farmer, who came up with the idea for the statue, and Vice President Pietro Bortoletto.

“University of Miami students are very spirited when they’re at the stadium, but we felt like our campus was a little lackluster when it came to spirit,” Bortoletto said.

They modeled the idea on the Sebastian the Ibis statue in front of the Newman Alumni Center, which was revealed during Farmer’s presidency. SG wanted something similar in a more central location on campus, Bortoletto said.

Under Farmer’s administration, SG announced a student design contest for the statue. Kevin Jones, an architecture student who graduated from UM in spring 2011, was the winning designer, according to Farmer.

Last year’s SG President, Brandon Mitchell, took the project forward under his own ticket’s platform to spirit the U.

“We made getting this U statue, or at least pushing it as far as we could, our number one priority on that platform,” Mitchell said.

The efforts during Mitchell’s year included getting price estimates, seeking funding and determining a location.

Whitely, who said she is thrilled with the U statue, was a big supporter of the project throughout three SG terms.

“President Shalala and I thought it was a terrific idea and that the U would add to the spirit and community on campus,” Whitely said. “More importantly, it was a student initiative.”

The cost of the statue has come out to about $85,000, according to SG Press Secretary AJ Ricketts. This is significantly less than the approximately $1.2 million that Mitchell expected.

According to last year’s SG President Nawara Alawa, the statue was funded through the budget for the Student Center Complex project – which includes the construction of the new Student Activity Center and updates to the existing University Center.

July 11, 2013

Reporters

Lyssa Goldberg

Lyssa Goldberg is online editor of The Miami Hurricane. She is a senior majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in math. She has interned at Mashable and the Miami New Times, and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post.


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Dewan Huell will be wearing green and orange for at least another year. Huell announced Saturday on ...

Their bats and gloves and baseball skills weren't enough Thursday night. Now, the Miami Hurrica ...

Florida State's recruiting trail hit Georgia last week, and while the #Tribe19 class is a focal ...

It's almost summer, time for college football players to wind down and chill out — every now an ...

Alumna and faculty member shares lessons and learning about racial identity in free parent community ...

Voters head to the polls in a historic election to choose the country’s next president. ...

From boathouse to marine research powerhouse, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Scienc ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

The Canes wrapped up a stormy weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary with their final two qualifiers f ...

Miami native pulls name out of NBA Draft process. ...

Stormy weather in the Gulf of Mexico may have delayed Friday's competition, but wind and rain c ...

Last season, Miami Hurricanes fans created, quite simply, one of the best home-field advantages in c ...

University of Miami senior Christian Langmo and freshman Adria Soriano were edged by Florida's ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.