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UNM's ‘Spirit of the Lobos’ program roams campus

Bronze statues create lasting impression

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Lobo at the Duck Pond
A lifesize bronze Lobo surveys the UNM Duck Pond. The "Spirit of the Lobos" program benefits the UNM Foundation. Photo credit Caitlin Cano.

There have been lots of Lobo sightings on campus lately, bronze statues about 36” tall in howling, sitting, standing and running poses. In Native American lore, the Lobo or wolf spirit symbolizes, among other things, patience, teaching and teamwork, and is considered the spiritual caretaker of the west, making the Lobo, the perfect mascot for the University of New Mexico.

The “Spirit of the Lobos” program at UNM serves to inspire and enrich the lives of students, faculty, staff, alumni, local community and visitors. The initiative, introduced by President Robert G. Frank, commemorates what it means to be a Lobo through permanent bronze Lobo statues located throughout campus, the community and state.

“As UNM’s mascot for over 70 years, the Lobo has a chance now to be permanently cast as not only our mascot but a symbol of pride that can now be seen around campus and hopefully the city,” Frank said.

A bronze Lobo statue howls as it sits on a rock near Johnson Gym. Photo credit: Caitlin Cano.

Two Lobos, which were acquired at the recent Athletic Department's “Howl of a Good Auction,” are located at the Pit; a pair of Lobos graces the lawn of the President’s House, one presented to UNM by First Lady, Janet Frank; and others can be spotted outside Johnson Gym, Zimmerman Library, the Pond and the S.E. side of Scholes Hall.

"I think the new statues are really cool,” said Carissa Moreno, a junior in the UNM Nursing program. “They help bring out school spirit and are a great way to show off our unique mascot. I love the way they just blend into campus and have different poses.”

Bronze Lobos are available for $5,000 through the UNM Foundation, not just for the university but for display at homes and businesses. If you would like to share a Lobo with the campus community you can sponsor a statue, which includes a 4” by 6” brass plaque commemorating your gift. There are four Lobo poses from which to choose.

When the UNM Foundation receives the funds, the physical plant department will schedule and coordinate the Spirit Lobo installation at an approved site on campus. The Spirit Lobos will be maintained and preserved in the best possible condition by the UNM physical plant. 

“The donors we have worked with are so pleased to be able to create a lasting expression of their Lobo spirit for all to enjoy through these sculptures, and public response to them has been great,” said Wendy Stires, associate vice president, Principal Giving and Regional Development, UNM Foundation.

To learn more about how you or your company can support the Spirit of the Lobos sculpture project, contact Sarah Calcutt at (505) 277-0322 or email sarah.calcutt@unmfund.org 

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'Spirit of Lobos' slideshow

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UNM Foundation

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