Meet 'Faurotcious:' Contest chooses name for bronze tiger

The Mizzou Alumni Association received 300 suggestions for the statue's name.
A contest to name the bronze tiger inside the Reynolds Alumni Center ended Saturday afternoon, with winners announced Thursday. Judges sifted through more than 300 entries and decided on the name "Faurotcious."

"Faurotcious" took top honors in a contest to name the tiger statue in the Reynolds Alumni Center on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Sarah James submitting the winning name and won a $50 gift certificate for University Bookstore. James also chose a campus organization to receive a $500 donation, selecting Alternative Spring Break as the recipient. A four-judge panel chose the winner.

"I think it’s a great idea to help support campus organizations," James said.

James said she chose the name because it is associated with an influential figure from MU's past, former football coach Don Faurot, and because it described tigers.

"I think it’s a creative way to leave my mark at Mizzou," James said.

MU alumnus Bruce Loewenberg donated the statue, which is on display in the entrance to Reynolds Alumni Center. Until recently, the statue was on loan from Loewenberg.

"He's been there for maybe 10 or 12, 15 years," he said.

Mizzou Alumni Association now owns the statue outright. Loewenberg said the alumni office often tells him people are having pictures taken with the tiger statue, which prompted him to consider naming the statue.

"They're telling me there are always people having their picture taken with that tiger," he said. "He shouldn't be anonymous. He should have a name."

Loewenberg said he was also motivated by what he said was a debt to the university.

"There's just no question that (attending MU) had a great impact on my life, so I felt an obligation to repay the debt," he said.

Logan Hampton, a member of Mizzou Alumni Association student board, said he has been overseeing the contest through its completion. The contest received more than 370 entries, which surpassed his expectations.

"This hasn't been a letdown," Hampton said. "We were pushing for above 300."

Hampton said the students he spoke with were excited about the opportunity to name the statue.

"I talked to a few students," he said. "It's kind of a way to leave your mark at Mizzou. They're kind of excited."

Senior Kyle Callaway, the vice president of tiger conservation group Mizzou Tigers for Tigers, said the group discussed the statue at a meeting, and members were encouraged to submit entries to the contest.

"Somebody came up with 'Big Cat Bruce,'" Callaway said. "They were just having fun with it."

Callaway said members of the group felt holding the contest was a good idea.

"I think it's better than having a real tiger," he said.

Loewenberg said he bought the statue from a store in San Francisco's Chinatown. He said he had planned to put the statue in the entrance of a house he planned to build and move into.

"I was looking for a tiger, and I walked into this one store, and they had a small one, and I said, 'I'm really looking for a big one,'" he said.

Loewenberg said he left his business card with the store, and weeks later he received a phone call informing him that a larger statue had been found. He returned to San Francisco and purchased the statue, but he did not build the house he had planned on displaying the statue in.

"At the time my wife was ill and subsequently died, so I never built the house," he said.

Instead, he lent the statue to the Alumni Association. Loewenberg said his next goal is to find a female tiger statue to pair with the statue currently in Reynolds Alumni Center. He said a sculptor could then be commissioned to produce tiger cubs, which would then be sold for scholarship fundraising.

"If I can find (a statue of a female tiger), and I'm constantly looking, that would be my next goal," Loewenberg said.

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