(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 annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus
This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus
Graduate student uses storytelling to highlight important issues facing children
As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.
At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.
Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.
With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.
Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.
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.