Spending so much time on campus, it’s easy to lose sight of things we see often.We’re so preoccupied with personal concerns that we’re not aware of our surroundings. The sculptures around campus are art that we forget to appreciate. They’re the embodiment of the school, and therefore they deserve some admiration.
The Shark Fountain
Located in front of the Don Taft University Center since 2008, the iconic Shark Fountain, designed by wildlife sculptor Kent Ullberg, symbolizes our prideful mascot: the mako shark– the fastest-swimming and highest-jumping shark in the ocean. “It used to be a planter before,” said Brad Williams, Vice President of Student Affairs, “[The fountain] was the pinnacle of [NSU’s] PAN-Student Government Association [as it was commissioned by them] that year.”
A Tribute to Sharks
The world’s largest shark mural is located inside of the Don Taft University Center and was created by marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey, the namesake for NSU’s Guy Harvey Oceanographic Center and a wonderful benefactor of the university,” according to Williams. Featuring 19 distinct species of shark, both painted and three-dimensional, the mural powerfully reminds NSU students of their potential strength.
The statue of H. Wayne Huizenga
A bronze bench outside the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center commemorates H. Wayne Huizenga, a member of the NSU Board of Trustee Emeritus and the namesake for the Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. According to Williams, it is the only college of business in the U.S. that has entrepreneurship in its name. Crafted by sculptor Robert St. Croix, the bench and statue have been located in front of the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Arts Center since June 15, 2013 with Huizenga sitting and looking at his college under a shady tree. The plaque highlights President Hanbury’s profound quote— “We all plant seeds for shade trees under which we may never sit; however, H. Wayne Huizenga planted far more than most.”
Amaguk, Keeper of the Wisdom
This reminiscent of Native Americans oeuvre was created by renowned sculptor Marie Barbera and commissioned by Paul Hershey, the founder of the Center for Leadership Studies and a visiting professor at NSU for several years. Housed in the Carl DeSantis building since 2006, the piece is said to bring and preserve wisdom for students as Amaguk, the tribe member, is seen wearing a “robe of the wolf,” which is only given to those who have demonstrated the “wisdom of the elders” in Native American culture. With that said, there is a rumor that students will receive good luck on exams if they rub the tail of the wolf.
As the oldest sculpture on campus, this abstract piece has been in front of the Mailman-Hollywood Building since 1970 as an extended loan from the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale by Mary McCahill, the former Chair of NSU’s Board of Trustees. “It is not a shark [as many would think] because we did not ‘become’ the Sharks until 2004,” said Williams, but “the discussion wasn’t just to build [a sculpture. It was] to build something iconic that would signify who we are as a community. As a school that is as young as ours, the sculpture plays an even more important role in terms of galvanizing our community.”
Photo: C. Bayer