Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bring Rowdy Home: Read the story of UTSA's newest tradition

UTSA Rowdy statue
R.G. Box

Top: UTSA's new Rowdy statue
Bottom: Rowdy statue sculptor R.G. Box

Share this Story

(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.


About UTSA

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.



Did You Know?

UTSA researcher is a star behind the cloud

A revolution in cloud computing is underway, and Ravi Sandhu believes it will be much bigger than the PC and Internet revolutions that have already changed the way we live. Sandhu, director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security, says UTSA is taking a leadership role in tackling three fundamental cloud technology problems: how to build and operate the cloud, how to use it profitably for diverse applications and how to keep it secure.

Sandhu, the Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security in the College of Sciences, and Ram Krishnan, assistant professor of electrical engineering in the UTSA College of Engineering, are funded by a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve cloud security.

Did you know? Sandhu, a world-renowned cybersecurity expert, holds 30 patents, has authored more than 250 papers and been cited more than 30,000 times.

Read More »
July 30, 5 - 7 p.m.

Networking and happy hour with AIA San Antonio's Women in Architecture

Join AIA San Antonio’s Women in Architecture group for their networking and happy hour event, where all design professionals are welcome.
Liberty Bar, 1111 S. Alamo St.

Aug. 1, 9 p.m.

"Inside Peace" documentary screening

This documentary, presented by the San Antonio Film Festival, documents the experience of re-entry after incarceration. The film features Michael Gilbert, associate professor in the department of criminal justice and director of the Office of Community and Restorative Justice program at UTSA.
Tobin Center for the Performing Arts, 100 Auditorium Circle

Aug. 4, 6 - 8 p.m.

Free Teacher Tuesday: Los Tejanos Workshop

Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.

Aug. 9, 12 - 5 p.m.

Vaquerocation 2015

This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.

Aug. 22, 6 p.m.

UTSA Alumni Gala

The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.

Other Calendars
» UTSA Events | » Academic | » Institute of Texan Cultures

Submit an Event

Meet a Roadrunner

Julian Acosta '12 is a musician with business cred

After graduation, Queretaro native founded a music label recognized by SXSW

UTSA's Mission

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.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA's Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

Connect with UTSA News


Related Links

Back to Top