The Ram statue, which had been four years in the making, was placed outside of the Old Library at West Chester University on the morning of Monday, Aug. 17, 2007 and was unveiled on Tuesday, Sept. 4. The idea for the ram statue was originated by former Student Government Association (SGA) President Michael Stoll in spring 2003.
“The intended purpose was to increase the beauty of West Chester and to spark new interest in school pride, spirit and community,” former SGA secretary Billy Christman stated.
“We are hoping the Ram will bring a sense of congregation to the West Chester University community,” current SGA President Benjamin Brutigam said. “We also hope pictures will be taken in front of the ram. We hope this will give the student body something to identify with.
Stoll, along with every SGA president after him, the SGA Senate, Student Services Inc. and the WCU Arts Committee were involved in the planning.
The Ram Committee found the portfolio of sculptor James Marsico, who has works at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C. and some national parks, and liked his collection and credentials.
Marsico began sculpting in the early 1970s, and he has owned and operated his own studio and gallery since 1976.
The ram statue is one of four in a collection that he calls “Ram Country,” and all the statues were created by studying real rams.
“WCU has the original copyright on the third statue in the set,” SSI Executive Director Mell Josephs stated.
“It took me about six months to sculpt Ram Country in oil clay,” Marsico stated in a press release. “I made a welded steel armature and then used wire mesh to block it out and then about 1,000 pounds of clay worked back and forth. I sculpted the head and horns separate and then added it on to the body while still in clay so I could make adjustments easier. Eventually everything was burnt out to cast 42 bronze sections that were then welded all together to make the monument.”
The sculpture weighs 2,000 pounds and is nine feet high. It was made in Cody, Wyoming and was driven across the country by Marsico.
A special strengthening of bronze was poured at the ankles to increase support and stability, and it was bolted into a concrete template that was originally thought not to fit the holes on the day of installation.
After some problems with he template, the statue was screwed smoothly into place.
The total cost of the statue, including sculpture, delivery and help with the set-up and placement of it, was $48,000. The previous three SGA administrations allotted some funds and saved money for the project.
The presentation of the statue will occur on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 4:30 p.m. Brutigam, Stoll and President Madeleine Wing Adler are scheduled to speak, and Brutigam along with SGA secretary and Homecoming Chair Jessica Northcraft are scheduled to present the ram to Adler.
Amanda Tingle is a third-year student majoring in Secoondary English Education with a minor in Journalism. She can be reached at AT610629@wcupa.edu.