As part of its centennial celebration, the University will unveil a long-awaited addition
to campus. A new tiger will be amidst students, but not just any tiger. The new tiger
will be a life-sized bronze sculpture of our beloved mascot, TOM. This one-of-a-kind
sculpture will be placed in front of the main entrance of the University Center. The
location is ideal because of its proximity to the future Centennial Alumni Mall.
This idea has long been championed by alumni and students, and the centennial anniversary
provides the perfect opportunity to complete this project.
A representative committee of faculty, staff, students and alumni are spearheading
the initiative. The committee includes student Greg Vann who is charged to work with
students across campus to use the tiger sculpture as an occasion to create new traditions
for the University of Memphis. These might include rubbing the paw for good luck to
posing for a photo at graduation.
The University has received 24 applications from artists across the nation who are
interested in creating the sculpture. In the weeks ahead, the committee will meet
with finalists, who will be interviewed and invited to present their proposal.
The entire project will be funded exclusively through private gifts. Everyone is invited
to participate, and donors who make gifts of at least $100 toward the initiative will
have their name inscribed adjacent to the sculpture. The $100 minimum gift is symbolic
to the centennial anniversary. The University will recognize donors of $10,000 or
more on the sculpture itself.
— by James Northcutt