There’s a new permanent resident on UMD’s campus

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There is a new statute on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth, and it’s someone who is truly a part of the university.

“This is a display of Bulldog pride and that’s really what we’re hoping. It continues to be a way to celebrate Champs the mascot, and have a real clear, definitive place on campus that screams UMD and is a fun, easy place to take pictures,” said Lynne Williams, UMD’s Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer.

The new bronze statue was installed Tuesday morning on campus after a road trip from Minneapolis. The statue’s new home is in front of the Darland Administration building. University staff members hope that the new addition to campus to bring and crank Bulldog pride to another level.

“The statue is designed after our logo it to look and replicate the Champ look and feel and familiarize people with that bulldog that they know. With athletics, we always talk about how everybody is a bulldog, whether you’re a student-athlete or a student who is involved in music or theater or any other activity like that. Bulldog pride rings true, and it rings deep. This is a way that we can help celebrate that and have people engage and interact with him,” Williams mentioned.

Sculptor Nick Legeros shared where the idea for the running bronze champ came from. “Several years ago, I made the Golden Gopher in front of Coffman Union at the University of Minnesota campus. I think some of the folks up here decided that they really would like to have a bronze version of Champ on campus. To be a landmark, something that kids who come here and take a tour want to take their picture with.”

The statute topples over seven feet, and Legeros describes his excitement about the statue and some of the things that he predicts will happen when people see the new bronze Champ.

“Besides trying to crawl on him and stuff? I mean, you get a group of people together, they’re going to try to move him, or they’re going to try to shake him. He makes them sound so that could be some musical composition might be made around him. We’re not sure. That’s kind of the cool part about doing public art there’s a social interaction that takes place that doesn’t take place, and pieces that go into private collections. So, I’m excited about that.”

The statute is the only thing for now, and other landscaping and upgrades to the surrounding area will be complete in the spring.