Something monumental is coming to the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus to commemorate the UNO Alumni Association’s centennial.
In 2014, UNO’s Alumni Association is giving students the “Maverick Monument” an 8-foot-high, 1,500-pound bronze bull statue representing the university’s mascot.
The monument will be part of a newly renovated plaza in front of the Lee and Helene Sapp Fieldhouse and the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Building on UNO’s Dodge Campus.
It is anticipated that the monument will be formally unveiled with a public dedication sometime next fall.
A committee of students, alumni, faculty and staff met in June and chose Seattle-area artist Jocelyn Russell to design the monument, concluding a rigorous invitational that included proposals from five artists - three of which were from Omaha.
Russell’s statue, based on a fighting bull, depicts a powerful, muscular Maverick overlooking campus. He symbolizes the determination, pride and success of UNO students and alumni and the opportunities before them.
The statue is the first to represent UNO’s mascot since a 1971 student vote that named “Mavericks” as UNO’s new identifier. It is also the first mascot statue in the University of Nebraska system.
UNO’s Student Government passed a resolution in 2012 allocating funds for the project. The Alumni Association first proposed the monument to its board of directors in November 2012 before bringing the proposal to numerous campus groups and the university’s administration, incorporating stakeholders’ feedback into the final proposal.