Grambling State University officials, administrators, faculty, staff and students crowded the quad Monday morning for the ground-breaking ceremony of the soon-to-be tiger statue, which many believe will be one of Grambling’s landmark.
“Visitors and parents, that come to Grambling’s campus-they are going to be greeted by an aggressive, yet meek and humble tiger,” said Dr. Frank G. Pogue, university president.
This meek and humble tiger, according to Dr. Pogue, is the university’s first commissioned tiger sculpture and is replacing a flagpole that has been in the same spot near the museum, since the 1930s until T.H. Harris Auditorium was built.
Dr. Stacey Duhon, vice president of Student Affairs, mentioned that the monument was once the opportune place for students to gather. “The men and women couples used to meet here at 12 midnight and socialize with one another,” said Duhon.
The statue is part of the institution’s $800,000 beautification project, and will be surrounded by plants and flowers. According to Duhon, the statue will stand 15 feet high and will be supported by a 5-foot base; therefore the statue will total a height of 20 feet.
Funded by the Student Government Association, Title III and other entities, the statue will be one of the newest additions to the newly named “Tiger Square,” and will look down at viewers to present individuals with its ferociousness and be surrounded by black and gold plants and flowers.
The new square will include a circular walkway, flowers and shrubbery, some of which will turn bright gold in the fall.
Jonathan Allen, Student Government Association president, made a point to note the importance of beautifying the campus and that the statue has been built solely for the purpose of betterment of the student body at Grambling State University.
“This statue will hopefully influence the students to better value the beauty of Grambling’s campus,” said Allen. Sharing similar thoughts to Allen, who believes campus beautification serves much importance within an institution, was Ante’ Britten, associate vice president for Finance and Administration had similar views when it comes to campus beautification.
“It gives our students a home away from home; giving students more places to socialize other than the yard. Campus beautification is solely for the student’s happiness and enjoyment,” said Britten.
He added that the statue and the entire beautification project would have a huge impact on the university’s enrollment, recruitment and retention rate.
The statue is continuously being worked on and will be finished by Homecoming Week, which is in November, a game against Mississippi Valley State.