Wildcat Statue Could Help Establish New Traditions on UK Campus

LEXINGTON, Ky. – A new wildcat will soon be welcomed to the University of Kentucky campus. It won't be wearing a uniform, but instead be completely decked out in bronze.

Stan Key, director of the UK Alumni Association, says work is underway to create a wildcat sculpture across from Memorial Coliseum.

"It's going to start with some limestone rock. But on that limestone rock there's going to be a bronze limb and the cat is actually climbing up on the limb and moving out. And so that's what is going to put the face of the cat up about seven feet high."

A committee of alumni, students, and university representatives picked a design by artist Matthew Palmer, who has also sculpted the University of New Hampshire wildcat and the Texas State bobcat.

Key hopes the wildcat will go beyond a sports mascot.

"We wanted the eyes to really be intense. We think that's important. We wanted to show a cat that's on the move, that's moving forward."

Key envisions students touching a paw for good luck before final exams and families taking pictures in front of the wildcat.

The Alumni Association Board of Directors approved the $300,000 project, which should be complete next April.