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Thank you to all who helped bring Spike to Campus!

The Whale Sculpture was funded entirely by private donations.   It is a 12-foot bronze sculpture of a Humpback Whale by renowned Alaskan artist R.T. “Skip” Wallen.  The Whale Sculpture joins several other projects made possible by private funding, including the Raven Sculpture, the Eagle Totem, the Raven Totem, the Noyes Pavilion, the Auke Lake Trail, the Grand Piano, the Ceramics Kiln, and more - all are encouraged to use the UAS Juneau Campus Philanthropy Walking Tour Map to find out more.  The new sculpture is the centerpiece of the campus corridor redesign, which is funded by State Capital Appropriations, intended to improve student safety on campus, separating pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Special thanks to the following organizations for their contributions:

  • $20,000 from the Rasmuson Foundation
  • $3,500 from the UAS Alumni & Friends Association
  • $3,974 from UAS Student Alumni Association Raffle Fundraiser
  • $1,000 form UAS Student Government Club

In addition, there were 55 individual donors.  Top individual donors of $500 or more were:

  • Alison Browne
  • Rick and Anne Caulfield
  • Keni & David Campbell
  • Michael Ciri & Jeri Cary
  • Laraine Derr
  • Jessie Grant
  • Carol and Michael Griffin
  • Barbara Hegel
  • Janice Hollender & Victoria Dance
  • Lynne & Lloyd Johnson
  • Bob & Heather Mitchell
  • Peter & Julie Neyhart
  • Lawrence Lee Oldaker & Linda Blefgen
  • Karen Polley
  • John & Margaret Pugh
  • John & Sheri Williams
  • Vickie Williams & John Kuterbach

Mr. Wallen received an Honorary Doctorate of the Arts from the University of Alaska Southeast in 2006.   

The Humpback Whale: a UAS Tradition

While many schools choose mascot animals based on their fierceness or physical strength, other mascots convey decidedly different qualities.  Here in Southeast Alaska, in addition to being a symbol of wildlife and conservation, the Humpback Whale is the epitome of grace, intelligence and natural beauty.

“In the midst of an increasingly diverse student population, mascots represent qualities that the school values and to which we all aspire.  This is true even for schools without Athletic programs.  For Alumni, mascots become a visual representation of their affiliation with the school that helped them become the person they are today.”   – John R. Pugh , Chancellor

The University of Alaska Juneau (UAJ) first adopted the Humpback Whale as its mascot in 1980. The whale was retained after the restructuring into the University of Southeast (UAS) in 1987 to include the Ketchikan and Sitka campuses.  A student contest was held to name the mascot and the whale has been known as “Spike” ever since.

Spike's Shadow

Mascots: an American Tradition

Mascots are symbols of pride, loyalty and inspiration dating back to the American Civil War where many regiments had living mascots, the more famous of which were Sallie, the bull terrier of the 11th Pennsylvania, and Old Abe, the Bald Eagle of the 8th Wisconsin.  After the war, the mascot tradition spread to colleges and universities when intercollegiate athletic games and rivalries emerged.  Today, mascots are a recognizable face or personality for a school that add to school history, tradition and pride. 

Spike and Chancellor Pugh

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