There’s a new Lion on campus.
Southeastern Louisiana University officially unveiled its long-awaited Lion statue during a ceremony that drew both current and former students to campus on Thursday, Aug. 29.
The new bronze statue — which weighs 800 pounds, stands 65 inches tall, and stretches 82 inches from head to tail — is located in Southeastern’s Friendship Circle, with its gaze set upon Strawberry Stadium.
The statue was revealed during a ceremony that took place before the Lions’ season-opening 35-14 victory over No. 6 Jacksonville State. The ceremony drew a large crowd of green-and-yellow-clad SLU students, administrators, faculty, and alumni, including Student Government Association President Karley Bordelon, past SGA presidents Richard Davis and Seth Leto, and SLU President John L. Crain.
In an interview with Southeastern’s student newspaper, “The Lion’s Roar,” Davis said the motivation to create a lion statue on campus has been the idea of many students over the past several years, “especially in the Student Government Association.”
Davis later told the student newspaper that the idea was eventually pushed forward by Leto when he served as SGA president in the 2017-18 school year, with funding provided by the SGA.
“[Leto] wanted a space on campus where students and alumni alike could go to and create lasting traditions,” David told the newspaper.
Davis later told “The Lion’s Roar” that the SGA’s Capital Outlay Fund invested $50,000 for the lion statue project at the beginning of 2018. Once the task force narrowed down on a design, student body leaders submitted the proposal to the Capital Outlay Committee comprised of student government members, a representative from the Physical Plant, and a representative from Facility Planning.
It was approved unanimously and sent to the Student Senate for final approval, Davis said.
Last Thursday, the work of many was finally revealed.
“I believe the Southeastern family will be very pleased with how the lion statue turns out,” Davis told student newspaper. “It will be a beautiful new staple on campus that will lead to long-lasting memories and traditions.”