September 26, 2016

Going for the bronze

When Student Government President Gabrielle Deimeke announced Project Gorlok during I Heart Webster Week last November, not much was known about the statue other than the $13,000 price tag. Now that there is more information available, the idea is becoming clear: the statue is meant to answer a question students and alumni have about the campus.

“When you come to campus, or after you graduate, or when you bring your parents here and you go to take a picture, where do you stand?” said Jennifer Stewart, Director of Student Engagement.

Stewart said the statue’s goal  is to answer that question, comparing the sculpture  to the columns on the University of Missouri Columbia’s campus and the Billiken statue at SLU. Deimeke, the originator of the project, hopes to bring more school spirit to the campus and create traditions, similar to rubbing the stomach of the Billiken statue on SLU’s campus.

The SGA and Student Ambassadors joined to create Project Gorlok in November.  The projected deadline for the statue’s construction and the collection of the $13,000 needed for the statue is Nov. 13, the date of the Centennial Grand Finale.

Billy Ratz of the Parent and Student programs at Webster has been tracking the project’s fundraising for SGA. He said the project was on track Friday at $3,515.37. Over the weekend, the total jumped to $5,065, which Stewart said was due to a large donation from a graduate student.

With the recent donation, the project is 80 $100 donations away from being complete, and this month, SGA and the Student Ambassadors plan to launch a 10-by-10 campaign. They are asking for students, parents or alumni to donate $10 each month until November, when the statue is scheduled to debut.

“When you say $100 to a student, that sounds like a lot,” Stewart said. “But when you say $10 dollars a month for ten months, that sounds a little bit more digestible.”

Participants who take part in the 10-by-10 campaign, and any students donating $100 or more, will have a brick engraved with their name and graduation year placed near the statue, which will be erected in the plaza between the Sverdrup Building and the Emerson Library.

What’s next

The statue will be designed and crafted by artists at the St. Louis Sculpture Factory. The family-owned company is located at 3723 Commonwealth Avenue, just six minutes from Webster’s main campus. Its location is one reason it was chosen for the job.

Ratz said SGA and the Student Ambassadors plan to photograph each stage of the Gorlok’s rendering and construction to allow students to see their money at work.

They have two final designs in mind, and university President Elizabeth Stroble and representatives from SGA will choose the ultimate design.

In addition to the 10-by-10 campaign, SGA and the Student Ambassadors will be selling candy grams and roses for Valentines Day to raise money.

Loose donations can be dropped in the gold donation boxes around campus, and anyone interested in donating can visit webster.edu/project-gorlok.

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