Wildcat statue nameless no more

A wildcat statue is installed in the new Wildcat Alumni Plaza across from Memorial Coliseum on Avenue of Champions on April 3, 2012, in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Becca Clemons | Staff

 

By Jennifer Abreu

news@kykernel.com

 

Meet Bowman.

Bowman is the winning name voted on by students for the 7-foot bronze wildcat statue in front of Memorial Coliseum.

Bowman was named after John Bryan Bowman, an innovator whose belief in education contributed to what we know as the University of Kentucky today.

The history from the name chosen is important, said community and leadership development professor Rebekah Epps.

“We have a really rich history on campus that is not talked about, so I am excited that students incorporated that,” she said.

The sculpture has been a UK trademark since its installation in April but had since been nameless.

The UK Alumni Association let students choose the name of the statue.

Early into fall semester, students could suggest names.

Leslie Hayes, program director at the Alumni Association, said most of the names were related to athletics.

“But we wanted something that would be timeless, and representative of all campus,”  she said.

A committee made up of students selected three favorite names to compete for students’ votes: Bowman, Victor and Champ.

The winning name, suggested by student Mills Armbruster, was announced during the homecoming pep rally last week.

Being able to participate in something that affects the entire campus connects students to UK even when they become alumni, Hayes said.

“After they graduate they look back and know that they were part of that,” she said.

Hayes said she is satisfied with the participation and the decision students made.

“I really like the historic tie, bringing new and old traditions,” she said. “(Bowman) intertwines past and present.”