MSUToday
Published: Oct. 10, 2016

MSU Union to unveil bronze Sparty monument during homecoming

Contact(s): Ashley Chaney Residence Education and Housing Services office: (517) 884-1752 chaneya1@rhs.msu.edu

Monumental things are happening at the MSU Union during homecoming week with the new bronze Sparty monument unveiling at 4 p.m. Oct. 12.

The monument, which will sit on the main floor under the center arch in the upper lobby, will serve as a welcoming beacon to all who enter. Similar to the university's iconic ceramic sculpture, "The Spartan," this tribute to Sparty will attract alumni, students and guests of all ages with its approachable design. 

“The MSU Union is excited to welcome the bronze Sparty monument to the building,” said Tami Kuhn, director of the MSU Union. “He will become an icon on campus that every Spartan will want to see. We are excited to see generations of Spartans add photos with bronze Sparty to their collection of MSU memories.”

The monument was commissioned in 2015 to add an iconic destination to the historic building and to stimulate additional traffic. The MSU Union Advisory Board led the project in its beginning stages by forming a committee, which included the chairperson of MSU's Department of Art, Art History and Design, as well as staff members from the Residential and Hospitality Services' Planning and Projects Office.

Sculptor Alison Brown of Troutdale, Oregon was selected by this committee to bring the monument to life. Brown prioritizes authenticity in her work and her success as an artist comes from understanding a university’s brand identity and working within strict concept guidelines. Her collection of artwork emerged from collaborations with The Walt Disney Company, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the University of Southern California and Nike.

Long before the idea of a bronze monument was born, Sparty has called the MSU Union home. Since its dedication in 1925, the MSU Union has served as a campus destination for future, current and past Spartans to gather, grow and reminisce. In recent years, the Union has been through a number of renovations, including the introduction of the North Neighborhood Engagement Center, Mosaic: The Multiracial Unity Center and the MSU Union Art Gallery. With an elegant charm, the bronze Sparty monument will add an artistic polish to the revitalized building.

The cost of the bronze Sparty monument project is approximately $150,000, which will be raised through donations. To date, $135,000 has been raised through generous contributions from the MSU Federal Credit Union, Paramount Coffee, MSU Panhellenic Council, MSU Interfraternity Council and hundreds of individual donors. Contributions to the project can be made through MSU’s University Advancement website, givingto.msu.edu by clicking “Give Now” and entering “MSU Union Bronze Sparty” in the search field. All donors who wish to be recognized will be included on a list accessible through the electronic kiosk adjacent to the monument.  

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