Bear necessity at campus core
Upper School students pose with the new bronze grizzly bear statue at the end of Miniter Quad.

In the heart of our 75-acre campus, a new addition is boosting school spirit and drawing the attention of students, faculty, and visitors.  

An eight-feet-tall bronze grizzly bear statue now stands proudly at the end of Miniter Quad, serving as a connecting point to academics, arts, and athletics.  

“We wanted something to represent Landon in a meaningful way and be a striking visual image in the middle of campus at the heart of Ansary Circle,” said Head of School Jim Neill.  

“I always liked sitting here and now they added a Bear and that looks really cool,” said William ’33. 

Neill said it was important to find a statue that would symbolize the Landon Bear identity in a way that was strong, determined, thoughtful, unwavering, watchful, and purposeful. 

The statue was part of the campus master plan for a central hub. After a year-long, cross-country search for an artist, with the help of Fine Art Consultant Peggy Tumey, school leaders selected a design from Bronze Sculptor Raymond Gibby. 

“I did a nationwide search to try to find just the right bear and find artists that specialize in wildlife,” said Tumey. “To me it was so important to work in the authentic bronze style. I felt that would be the most appropriate for this campus.” 

The new bronze grizzly bear statue at the end of Miniter Quad.

Tumey said some of the design elements she considered included whether the bear would be standing or on all fours, how aggressive the bear looks, and the patina. 

“I already had a similar bear that I had sculpted for a previous client, but there were specific design elements Landon wanted for this one, so we customized it,” said Gibby. “This bear is unique. There are no other bears exactly like this one.” 

The process of creating a life-size statue is extensive and begins with sculpting the artwork in clay. Gibby said the process can be simplified into seven basic departments, from crafting molds to casting bronze and adding color, called patination, but within each of those steps there are “an unlimited number of micro steps and craftsmanship.”  

“I can see the skill and hard work it took to make this,” said Henry ’33.  

Gibby completed the statue in a foundry in Springville, Utah, then made the more than 2,000-mile drive to 6101 Wilson Lane to install the statue. 

“That's always the fun part, to see the kids and everyone enjoy what they envisioned," Gibby said. “It's always a pleasure for me to be able to make that come to pass, so, I'm here at probably the most emotional time of the whole process. That's rewarding for me.”  

“I think it will become a really important part of the campus," Tumey said. "This will be a gathering point on campus. It’ll be what draws students over here." 

The new bronze grizzly bear statue at the end of Miniter Quad.


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