Senior gift revives eagle statue

The new eagle statue outside of the AU library sits overlooking the area where the rose garden once sat.

Gracie Wilson

The new eagle statue outside of the AU library sits overlooking the area where the rose garden once sat.


The senior class of 2019 at Ashland University paid tribute to their time on campus by gifting an eagle statue to the university.

The new statue is in place in front of the campus library and is the image of a metal eagle taking flight. Funds were raised by the previous senior class in order to have this statue become a part of the campus scenery.

“It’s something we have done with a lot of the other senior classes, to have something that adds to the landscaping of campus,” Rick Ewing, Vice President of Operations and Planning at Ashland University said.

The statue was placed out front of the library because it was a prominent space and one that needed updating, Ewing said.

The eagle statue is surrounded by a garden that has been replanted with flowers and newly mulched, with the statue as the centerpiece of it all.

President Finks, a former president of AU is the one who initially brought the statue to campus, and it was originally placed on the street corner by the Ashland University sign.

The statue later went into storage but has now been brought back as part of the senior gift, Ewing said. “It seemed to fit. It was a nice feature piece within the garden. We were anxious to get it back out for people to enjoy.”

While the garden and statue have been put in place before the start of classes, the result of the 2019 senior class fundraising has allowed for even more to be added.

“They raised just a little over 2,000 dollars towards it,” Ewing said. “To date we have spent about 1,500. We have a plaque on order that we will add, and we like to keep a little reserve so if any of the plants need replaced, we are able to keep it looking good.”

The 2,000 dollars raised by the senior class was mostly from the Day of Giving during the Spring semester Ewing said.

The space that the garden is occupying is mostly shaded, so the plants need to be able to survive there.

“Everything we put there is pretty hearty and appropriate for the space and the shade,” Ewing said. “So, we think it will stay beautiful for quite some time.”

The space outside of the library did house a garden prior to the senior class gift. It was formerly a rose garden and there is a plan in the works to preserve that as well.

“The original rose garden was there, and we are actually trying to think now about how to continue that recognition because it was a named rose garden,” Ewing said.
Other contributions to campus from previous senior classes can still be seen all over AU today.

The flagpole on the quad and the small water feature between Meyers and Clayton Halls are also senior class gifts, Ewing said.

The new garden and eagle statue now joins the lineup of senior class gifts that have left a mark on the appearance of the AU campus and will be completed with a plaque set to arrive by homecoming.

“We really enjoy working with those classes to find ways to beautify campus and leave a mark,” Ewing said. “This was another example of that success.”