By Laura Fenton
Each T-shirt, mini tiger and bottle of bubbles was one step toward the feline goal.
The students from the U of M’s Campus School collected $3,000 to purchase the Tigers
Around Town statue that sits in front of the elementary school. Art teacher Mary Larrick
and six students from the Campus School painted the tiger statue, titled “CampUS.”
Campus School students gather in front of the “Tigers Around Town” statue they raised
money to purchase.
“There was a real concern that it wouldn't fit through the door into the art room,
but it did,” Larrick said of the rainbow-schemed statue representing the year 1932.
The Campus School’s Junior Optimist Octagon International Club (JOOI), comprised of
fourth- and fifth-grade students, spearheaded the one-year campaign.
“The youngest tigers can be counted among the most ardent fans,” said Dr. Susan Copeland,
Campus School director. “Working so hard to keep our tiger is proof of our commitment.”
Students hosted events like Up and Away Day, where classmates received a mini tiger
statue to decorate for $1, a mini tiger and one bottle of bubbles for $2, and for
$3, students received a mini tiger, bottle of bubbles and the opportunity to wear
blue jeans to school.
The Campus School Parent Network also sold $5 T-shirts with the outline of the tiger
statue. Shirts were then painted during art class and are now a part of the approved
Friday “school spirit” dress code.
Students raised $2,700 through the small price-point fundraisers, plus several parents
donated to cap the goal.
“The students were so excited,” said Undria McClendon,
Campus School teacher and a JOOI adviser. “It is definitely a great gift to share
with the school, the University and the Memphis community.”
Teacher Aaren Mitchell and Larrick are also JOOI advisers.
Hosted by the Alumni Association, Tigers Around Town celebrates the Centennial of
the University of Memphis. Each tiger statue, based on the measurements of live Bengal
mascot TOM II, is made of fiberglass and stands about 6 feet high, 3 feet wide and
weighs around 600 pounds.
The Tiger design was created by senior art education major Brooke Ebersole. While
the pose for each statue is the same, some of the Mid-South’s finest artists showed
off their talents to make each Tiger distinctive.
Four of the artists are Dr. Bob Canady, Jamie McMahan, NJ Woods and Pam Cobb. Each
sponsor selected a year between 1912 and 2012 for their Tiger. Alumni, businesses
and fans also sponsored statues as well. For more information about Tigers Around
Town, visit www.memphis.edu/alumni/tigersaroundtown.