LAWRENCE — A sculpture commemorating the veterans and casualties of World War I is getting a new home on the University of Kansas campus.
On campus since 1982 east of Dyche Hall, the Victory Eagle sculpture will join other KU war memorials in its new location on Memorial Drive.
Chancellor Douglas A. Girod will speak at a rededication event at 1:30 p.m. May 20 at the east end of Memorial Drive. The event will be open to the public.
Parking is available nearby in the Mississippi Street parking garage. Those who require special accommodations at the event should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The bronze statue depicts a female bald eagle defending her nesting young. It is one of six known eagle statues produced in the 1920s for placement along the Victory Highway, a transcontinental route from New York to San Francisco intended to memorialize those who lost their lives in World War I.
The original idea for the highway would have placed a replica of the statue at each county line along U.S. Highway 40, but only six were completed.
The Victory Eagle was originally placed at the Douglas-Leavenworth county line in 1929 and remained there until 1980, when vandals toppled it and stole the plaque listing the names of Douglas County’s fallen soldiers. Two years later, the sculpture was rededicated on the KU campus.
The recent completion of a reconstructed Memorial Drive provided an opportunity for the sculpture to be relocated there. The move will link the Victory Eagle with the university’s other war memorials, including David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, the Kansas Memorial Union, the World War II Memorial Carillon and Campanile, the Vietnam War Memorial and the Korean War Memorial.
Top right photo: The Victory Eagle depicts a female bald eagle defending her nesting young. Credit: Susan Younger, KU Alumni Association.
Bottom right photo: The bronze statue will be rededicated at 1:30 p.m. May 20 at the east end of Memorial Drive. Credit: Valerie Spicher, KU Alumni Association.