UTSA dedicates iron roadrunner statue, UTSA street signs

Iron Rowdy

Roadrunner statue

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(Aug. 27, 2014) -- As students began classes, UTSA hosted a pair of dedication ceremonies. At 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., respectively, the university dedicated its thousand-pound iron roadrunner statue and UTSA-themed street signs, creating new traditions for the university community.

"A top-tier university needs impactful and lasting traditions," said Sam Gonzales, UTSA vice president for student affairs. "The initiatives to bring the iron roadrunner statue and the UTSA street signs to campus were both started by our students. They are so proud of how the university has grown and they wanted to share that school spirit."

At 4 p.m., UTSA dedicated its six-foot-tall, thousand-pound roadrunner statue. The statue's journey to UTSA began in late 2010 when several registered student organizations, including the S.G.A. and Sigma Pi Fraternity, came together to explore ways to boost school spirit among students. Their dream was to fund the commission of UTSA's first-ever roadrunner statue and to create a new university tradition.

Inspired by a conversation with UTSA Associate Athletic Director Jim Goodman, artist R.G. Box spent 1,000 hours working to complete UTSA's giant roadrunner statue. Box handcrafted the 11-foot-long statue in his forge using fires upward of 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Each of the statue's 1,000 feathers was hand-sculpted. Since then, Box has been very enthusiastic about the students' efforts to make his work a part of UTSA history.

Bring Rowdy Home, a fundraising campaign inspired by students and coordinated by the UTSA Office of Annual Giving, raised more than $25,000 in one week with the generous support of UTSA students, faculty, staff, alumni and benefactors from across the country and supported the campaign to bring the statue to campus.

In the five o'clock hour, UTSA, San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni, Councilman Ron Nirenberg, Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, Transportation and Capital Improvements Director Mike Frisbie and other city leaders dedicated 94 UTSA-branded street signs. The street sign project is a partnership between the City of San Antonio and UTSA.

The street signs, which include the Rowdyhead, are currently under installation on public UTSA Main Campus and Downtown Campus streets and perimeters and at UTSA's Park West Athletics Complex at Loop 1604 and Hausman Road. Once installed, they will help residents and visitors recognize that they are in the vicinity of a UTSA campus. The street signs will also provide a neighborhood identity for UTSA, areas referred to as the "UTSA Gateway District."

The dedications are two of a series of events during UTSA Roadrunner Days. The events, which run Aug. 22-29, give UTSA students the opportunity to participate in time-honored traditions and connect with the campus community.

Dedication details

Roadrunner statue dedication
4 p.m.
UTSA Main Campus
Central Plaza (across from the Sombrilla)

UTSA Street Sign Unveiling, during President's BBQ on the Lawn
5-5:45 p.m.
UTSA Main Campus
Convocation Center east lawn

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For more information about the Bring Rowdy Home campaign including the full list of donors, visit the Bring Rowdy Home website.

For more information and the event schedule, visit the UTSA Roadrunner Days website.

Connect online with UTSA on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Share your Roadrunner Days experiences using hashtag #UTSARRDAYS.