College of DuPage Commissions Chaparral Sculpture
By Brian Kleemann
An eight-foot tall Chaparral will soon be calling the College of DuPage campus home.
The College of DuPage Board of Trustees has commissioned sculptor Matthew Placzek to create a bronze sculpture representing the COD mascot. Once completed, the piece will be located just east of the new Student Services Center in an area specifically constructed to display an outdoor sculpture.
The idea originated with a postcard that College of DuPage President Dr. Robert L. Breuder received that depicted Placzek’s bronze sculpture of Billy Bluejay for Creighton University. Breuder then met with Student Leadership Council leaders to determine their interest in this possible endeavor as a permanent gift from students.
The Board approved the project for $54,000, with more than half of the cost coming from the Student Activities budget. The project should take approximately six months, with the President working with Student Leadership Council leaders and Student Affairs staff to approve the statue’s design.
The College of DuPage mascot reflects the institution’s history. When the school opened in 1967, classes were held in office trailers and at 40 leased suburban sites throughout the newly formed Community College District 502. Driving from class to class, the 2,621 students and 87 full-time faculty and staff became affectionately known as road-runners, leading to the nickname “Chaparrals.”
Placzek has created sculptures for a number of institutions, including the Children’s Hospital in Omaha, Neb., the Social Security Administration Building in Roanoke, Va., and a 30-foot bronze monument for the Omaha Riverfront that is the second-largest labor monument in the country.
Pictured: Sculptor Matthew Placzek's bronze of Billy Bluejay on Creighton University's campus.
College of DuPage
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2012 College of DuPage