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Guelph Gryphon statue

Tribune photo by Doug Hallett

Fatima Chleilat has her picture taken Saturday morning with Gryph, the University of Guelph’s sports mascot, in front of a newly unveiled Gryphon statue. The giant bronzed statue now greets visitors at the main university entranceway at the corner of Stone Road and Gordon Street.

The Gryphon has landed

It has taken a very long time, but the University of Guelph finally has something eye-catching to mark its main entrance.
The U of G is known as having a beautiful campus, but “for some strange reason we never had something to mark the entry,” U of G president Alastair Summerlee told a crowd at the statue’s unveiling at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
The unveiling was part of the university’s 50th anniversary celebrations and was also a highlight of this year’s Alumni Weekend, which drew over 1,200 alumni to the campus.
The mythological Gryphon is the keeper of knowledge, so it’s a highly appropriate statue for the U of G, Summerlee suggested.
This statue has the Gryphon – which is also the namesake of U of G sports teams – resting on a book. It’s located in a newly redesigned campus entrance at Stone and Gordon.
The statue was designed by U of G School of Fine Art and Music faculty members Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse,  who worked on the project with master of fine art graduates Nicole Vogelzang and Dustin Wilson. It took six months to research and develop, as well as a year of production and creative work in the studio and the foundry, a news release said.
Kozzi and Skuse’s company, FASTWURMS, was asked by Summerlee to take on the $300,000 project. The duo previously designed a number of notable sculptures for buildings and developments in the Greater Toronto Area.
The statue project was funded entirely by donations, primarily from alumni and student groups, the release said.
The new sculpture is illuminated by a nearby light standard containing a powerful LED light source. “The light is functional. It illuminates the sculpture and walkway, but it also signifies the illumination of learning and the University of Guelph as a special pathway to the acquisition of knowledge,” Kozzi said in the release.
The sculpture was first conceived by the Ontario Veterinary College class of 1956, with alumnus Bob Liptrap and former OVC dean Ole Nielsen playing a lead role in pushing the project. The class raised $25,000 for the statue.

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