Student Affairs considers purchase of Truman the Tiger statue

No decisions have been made regarding the possible purchase, department officials said.

The image of Truman the Tiger could become a permanent fixture on campus if proposals regarding the purchase of a Truman statue come to fruition.

“It’s really just a concept right now that we have been exploring,” Student Auxiliary Services spokeswoman Michelle Froese said. “We want to see if there’s any interest on campus. It’s not like it’s not being pursued right now, it’s just more being discussed.”

Student Affairs Assistant Vice Chancellor Jeff Zeilenga said the concept of the Truman statue would complement what MU is trying to accomplish in both Memorial Union and the MU Student Center: to celebrate spirit and traditions.

“We’ve been tossing around the idea,” Froese said.

Other universities’ statues, such as University of Kansas’ Jayhawk and UM-St. Louis’ Wayne Goode statues, were partial inspirations for the possible purchase, Froese said. At UMSL, students put T-shirts on the statue to promote different events, and it has become a sort of tradition. Froese said she hopes something similar would happen if MU were to adopt a Truman statue.

“Ideally, it would symbolize Truman the Tiger and maybe have something that would talk about the evolution of our Tiger,” Froese said.

Because the statue is only a topic of conversation as of yet, there are still a number of unanswered questions, Froese said.

“Where would we put it?” Froese said. “Would it be inside the new Student Center? Would it be outside? This is all just in discussion right now.”

Missouri Students Association President Tim Noce said he would definitely be in support of the statue, granted it wouldn't greatly interfere with student fees.

"Truman is a kind of a rare commodity," Noce said. "You can't really see him all the time, because he's kind of a busy guy. It would show our mascot, and that's what we're all about."

Freshman Kara Sharp said she believes MU’s campus is already spirited and beautiful, making a Truman statue somewhat unnecessary.

“I think that one of the biggest positives of Mizzou is its beautiful campus, and up until now all of the renovations and new buildings have continued to add to that beauty,” Sharp said. “But something like a second large Truman statue sounds obnoxious and frankly, pointless. I think it would be a big mistake.”

Sophomore Ali Lehr echoed Sharp’s sentiments, though she doesn’t totally oppose the idea.

“The one that’s already here is so close,” Lehr said. “It’s right down the road. But at the same time, I don’t think that it would necessarily be a waste of money. I guess I’m not really for or against it.”

That being said, Sharp said she understands MU’s reasoning behind possibly purchasing a Truman statue. She said she is just curious if it is the most integral purchase MU could make at this time.

“I understand that a Truman would be a good representation of school spirit,” Sharp said. “But I think the money might be better spent elsewhere.”

Zeilenga said he hopes any alumnus can come back to MU’s campus and find a piece of their experience somewhere in either building. He said incorporating a life-sized Truman statue correlates with this hope, instilling yet another way to elicit excitement and pride in the university.

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