Earlier this week, the Kentucky Wesleyan College Alumni Association and the senior class of 2022 unveiled a new 8-foot-tall carved wooden statue of Wesley N. Panther.
Summer Aldridge, Director of Alumni Relations, said with its placement directly in front of the prospective student parking, the new fixture on campus will serve as a welcome area to campus visitors.
The senior class committee began meeting to identify a gift to campus in September of 2021. After exploring a few options, they decided to move forward with the sculpture in January with a target unveiling date of the week of graduation.
Abby and Nikki Peterson of Woodlife Sculpture in Breckenridge County did the chainsaw carving. The statue is made of a poplar tree that was cut down in Breckenridge County.
“It’ll of course also be used by current students and alumni when they return home to campus as well,” Aldridge said. “We hope to continue improving that specific piece of campus in the years to come.”
When the two groups began meeting last fall, Aldridge said it became evident that they understood the mission; to find a spot on campus in need of a class to leave its mark and to leave something for future generations of Panthers to enjoy.
Leigha Taylor, Senior Director of Development, said $5,000 was not an easy amount to reach, but the Senior Committee was confident that they could do it with help of others.
The gift was the brainchild of senior student Abby Tivitt ’22. She attended meetings regularly, met with the advancement team often, did community outreach and a lot of fundraising, all while managing a challenging course load and plenty of involvement in other student organizations.