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Students launch ‘What does it mean to be a Maverick’ naming initiative

Grand Junction – Colorado Mesa University students, leadership, donors and local artists celebrated installation of a long-anticipated maverick statue outside Brownson Arena at CMU. 

The larger-than-life sculpture was commissioned by CMU and created by local artist Scott Shaffer who said during the event that his rendering of CMU’s iconic mascot is eight-feet high, twelve-feet long and weighs more than 1,200 pounds. 

The installation occurred on April 30 alongside applause for the project milestone. 

“Today was a fun day for everyone and this incredible work of art helps symbolize and bring to life what it means to be a CMU Maverick,” said Foster. “Our students did a great job of describing what being a Maverick means to them and we look forward to what others in the community add to the conversation." 

A number of students participated in a formal reading titled, What is it Means to be a Maverick

“Some people say being a Maverick means splitting from the herd, or standing up or standing out,” one student said. 

Another CMU freshman said that “being a Maverick means being brave, bold and courageous in the face of the timidness of others.” 

“Each student, visitor, donor and community supporter will have a different idea about what it means to be a Maverick," said Foster. “Starting today the whole CMU family has an opportunity to help us name this incredible work of art and powerful symbol in the community.” 

The statue was placed outside the east entrance to Brownson Arena on a temporary basis for the purposes of community display. A formal naming and dedication ceremony will take place during Homecoming in October 2019. 

Professor of Art Suzie Garner, MFA, is head of the art and design department, commented on the work. 

“Because the statue may be associated with a mascot, it might be easy for some people to forget what a truly fine piece of art this sculpture really is,” said Garner. “The artist’s care for detail from the overall form to the final patina finish are to be commended and the CMU art community is pleased to have the statue here on campus.”

The What It Means to be a Maverick initiative will run through September 1, at which time CMU leadership will finalized a name for the sculpture based on ideas submitted from students, alumni and the community. 

If a submission is selected, the winner will receive an annual all-events pass to CMU athletic and performing arts events as well as a $100 gift card to The Maverick Store, CMU’s official bookstore and fan shop. 

Participants are asked to submit a video in front of the statue, no more than 30-seconds in length, stating what being a Maverick means to them and their idea for a name. Applicants may also submit a photo of themselves in front of the statue with a 100-word written idea about what it means to be a Maverick along with their idea for naming the sculpture. 

The installation was donated by FCI Constructors and the event was organized by the Colorado Mesa University Foundation and Department of Athletics.

To submit your proposed name visit To Be A Maverick. 


Written by David Ludlam