A new statue commemorating an alum’s contributions to the Kansas Memorial Union was unveiled Friday.
Since the beginning of the semester, students have been speculating about the contents of a blue egg with a red banner that cryptically read “Hatching September 23.”
“I thought it was going to be a new mascot or a new logo,” said Makenna Carpenter, an architectural engineering student from Arvada, Colorado. “There were so many rumors going around.”
Instead, it was the vision of a longtime university benefactor brought to life.
The statue features three small Jayhawks, shadowed by a larger one. It was designed by longtime KU benefactor James Ascher Sr., who died in February.
Former Union Director David Mucci introduced the Ascher family. The statue commemorated James Ascher’s generosity, legacy and love for KU, Mucci said.
Hundreds gathered outside the union for the “hatching” on Friday afternoon.
The Ascher Plaza was named after James Ascher Sr. after his donation in 2019 allowed the university to install six bronze Jayhawks that sit outside the Union.
“This is truly the Ascher Family Plaza today as the Aschers are here with us,” Mucci said.
“It came to him in a dream,” Mucci said of the statue. “A rebirth of the Jayhawks in a new home.”
Baby Jay, not one to let anyone else steal the spotlight, also made an appearance.
Kyra Sweeny, 15 months, wanted to get a closer look at Ascher’s vision brought to life.
Note: This post has been corrected from a previous version.
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Chloe Anderson (she/her) contributed to The Lawrence Times from August 2022 through May 2023. She is also published in Climbing magazine, Kansas Reflector and Sharp End Publishing. As a recent graduate of the University of Kansas, Chloe plans to continue her career in photography, rock climbing and writing somewhere out West.
You can view her portfolio, articles and commissioned work here. Check out more of her work for the Times here.