Article: Block P statue to symbolize journey

Back to News Room

Block P statue to symbolize journey

The Exponent - West Lafayette, IN
PUBLISHED: 03-06-08
By Nickolai Belakovski, Staff Reporter ( )

Next semester, Purdue students can expect a new statue on campus, but, like their journey towards a degree, this statue will not be finished.

A group of student leaders advised by Michael Silver, commander of the Air Force ROTC, is working to raise money to erect a Purdue Block P. The statue, made of bronze, will be unusual in the sense that it is meant to look unfinished.

Shane Hageman, a member of the group, said the statue stands for what a student takes from Purdue.

"As a student you come to Purdue and you carve out your own Purdue experience," said Hageman, a senior in the College of Agriculture and the College of Liberal Arts. "Not just from the classroom, but from being involved on campus and from the friendships and relationships you make along the way."

The idea had started out as a memorial to those who died while attending Purdue, but after it began to develop, the meaning evolved. The group of students felt the statue should be more encompassing of the entire Purdue community, suggesting that even after a student graduates, the Purdue experience is not over.

The statue will be located between Wetherill Laboratory of Chemistry and Stewart Center. Hageman said the location is fairly neutral; it doesn't belong to one college or another, which adds to the inclusiveness of the statue.

While the students initially conceived the statue to actually be carved out of a block of granite, technical and financial considerations led them to switch to a bronze mold, which will be made by Rick and Rita Hadley of Otterbein, Ind.

A letter on the project's Web site written by Silver explained that it was the professionalism and warmth of the Hadleys that convinced students to make the switch. He said that after the very first meeting on the subject it was like love at first sight.

In an interview, Silver also explained what the surroundings of the statue would look like.

"If you don't do the landscaping right, it's just another statue," he said. "From the back it actually looks something like a Q."

Almost one-third of the Block P's total projected cost of $100,000 is directed to landscaping around the statue. There will be a hedge behind the statue so that the most prominent view will be of the front.

The student leaders have seen great success in their fundraising thus far, with 61 percent of the total amount raised. If all the funds are raised as planned, groundbreaking will be during the 2008 Spring Fest and a final dedication will occur during homecoming this fall. Donations can be made at

# # #

The Unfinished Block P statue