(Sept. 4, 2013) -- The dream to have a Rowdy statue on campus began with UTSA students. In late 2010, several UTSA registered student organizations came together for a fundraising campaign, looking for a way to boost student spirit by creating a new tradition.
"We had this idea a few years ago, that we could somehow get a statue to campus," said Zack Dunn, president of the UTSA Student Government Association. "When you look at the Main Campus right now there's very little representation of our mascot on campus. To students, having Rowdy as a part of our campus is a way to distinguish ourselves from other institutions and show our school spirit and build tradition."
As it happened, in 2011, Jim Goodman, UTSA associate athletic director, was watching a segment of "Texas Country Reporter" that featured respected Lubbock artist and blacksmith R.G. Box. Now 78, Box has sculpted dozens of metal sculptures. In the TV segment, Box mentioned his desire to one day sculpt a large, iron roadrunner.
Goodman kept Box's name tucked away in the back of his mind. Then one day, he gave Box a call. Box revealed that he had already begun to conceptualize a roadrunner statue in his shop. Rowdy wasn't Rowdy yet, but he was getting there.
Without a purchase promise from UTSA, Box worked 1,000 hours to complete the statue. The steel of Rowdy's skin was forged in fires upward of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit and sculpted by Box. The statue stands 11-feet-long from beak to tail feather and weighs 1,000 pounds. Box hand-sculpted each one of Rowdy's 1,000 detailed feathers.
UTSA's Student Government Association, Sigma Pi Fraternity and other student organizations eventually learned that a statue was in production. Working with Sam Gonzales, interim vice president for student affairs; Barry McKinney, assistant dean of students and director of student activities; and other UTSA staff, they rallied to bring it to Main Campus. The notion of UTSA's beloved mascot becoming a permanent fixture on the Main Campus was too much for them to pass up. Soon, the student-led initiative to bring the statue to campus proved successful.
Now, as Rowdy makes his way to campus, the roadrunner statue almost seems fated to roost at UTSA.
"As I was driving into Box's Lubbock studio in my truck one night to visit him, two roadrunners crossed my path," said Goodman. "I thought to myself, 'This is fate.' Then I saw the thing, right as it was being finished, and it was beautiful."
Box says he feels that the roadrunner statue is his most ambitious work to date, and he's very excited his work will make its permanent mark on UTSA. In fact, it was Box who named the statue Rowdy.
"I think everything that is happening is wonderful," said Box. "Both Rowdy and I are very, very excited about coming down to San Antonio. We can't wait to be there."
>> To make a donation, visit the UTSA Bring Rowdy Home website.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is an emerging Tier One research institution specializing in health, energy, security, sustainability, and human and social development. With nearly 31,000 students, it is the largest university in the San Antonio metropolitan region. UTSA advances knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service.
The university embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property -- for Texas, the nation and the world.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
The UTSA community is invited to the Community Networking events hosted by the Student Center for Community Engagement and Inclusion during Roadrunner Days. Various opportunities will be available that will focus on our diverse population.
H-E-B University Center Ballrooms (HUC 1.104 and HUC 1.106), Main Campus
Start in the Paseo then branch out around campus so you know where to go on the first day of classes.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
This event offers a preview of the UC’s programs and services that students can enjoy throughout the year. There will be food and giveaways too.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.