Bring Rowdy Home: UTSA fundraising campaign for Rowdy statue reaches goal

UTSA Rowdy statue

New Rowdy statue on UTSA Main Campus

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(Sept. 13, 2013) -- The UTSA fundraising campaign Bring Rowdy Home has reached its $25,000 goal, and Iron Rowdy, the 1,000-pound roadrunner statue, is in its temporary location on the UTSA Main Campus. Because gifts are still coming in, the final total will be announced next week. The final nesting place is still to be determined, so the statue is temporarily stored in the University Center.

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.

Then, in 2011, Jim Goodman, UTSA associate athletic director, saw Lubbock sculptor and blacksmith R.G. Box on TV's "Texas Country Reporter," saying he hoped to sculpt a large, iron roadrunner. It occurred to Goodman that Box might be the one to make a Rowdy statue, since he already had completed dozens of metal sculptures.

UTSA's Student Government Association, Sigma Pi Fraternity and other student organizations eventually learned that a statue was in production. Working with UTSA administrators in the Division of Student Affairs and other UTSA staff, they rallied to raise money for the statue and bring it to campus. Soon, the student-led initiative proved successful.

Many alumni and students are excited about the statue. Rowdy even received gifts from several Oklahoma State fans at last weekend's football game at the Alamodome. One Class of 1981 alumna emailed to share her pride in UTSA and express her pleasure in making a gift for the statue.

"I just wanted to email to let you know that I am very happy to donate to the Rowdy campaign," said Terry Wilder Schwartz, B.B.A. '81. "The Roadrunner mascot has a special significance to me, a UTSA alum. Back in the 'olden days' of my college life at UTSA, there were no dorms, no school sports, no traditions, so school spirit was not a thing really enjoyed by the students at that time. However, I was in the class that voted to determine our school mascot, and that has always given me a sense of connection to my school.

"So, I'm really pleased to see this symbol brought to life on the campus -- and what a handsome fellow he is! I've made my donation on the Bring Rowdy Home website... Thank you, and Go Roadrunners!"

The largest individual gift of $2,000 to Bring Rowdy Home came from parents of a student. One corporate gift of $1,000 was received. Gifts have ranged from $5 to $500 to $1,000 with an average gift of $37. Students have been the largest segment of donors, many sacrificing to be part of the tradition; Sigma Pi Fraternity helped raise more than $2,000.

The donations will cover the cost to bring Rowdy to campus and to build him a good home including lighting and security. New traditions such as the Rowdy statue are possible only through gifts, since tuition and other sources of funding are designated to support instruction only.

Those who have made donations will forever be associated with Bringing Rowdy Home on an honor roll of donors.

>> Read more at the UTSA Bring Rowdy Home website.

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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 30,000 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.