The Wichita State University campus will soon be home to a larger-than-life sculpture of its beloved WuShock mascot, thanks to Steve Clark – a longtime Greater Wichita YMCA board member, volunteer and donor – for whom the area’s tenth YMCA branch location will be named.
The sculpture will be located on the entrance plaza of the new YMCA and Student Wellness Center.
While planning design and usage options for the YMCA, Clark – a Shocker alumnus, donor and volunteer – shared his idea for and willingness to fund the first-of-its-kind WuShock sculpture on campus. It will honor of his late-wife, Judy Broshears Clark, who died in a 1989 car accident.
Local artist Wade Hampton worked with WSU Athletics and Clark to capture his vision in sketch form, and sculptor Connie Ernatt is in the process of transforming the drawing to the final bronze sculpture.
The sculpture will embrace a vintage style of the mascot. After working through several miniature clay models, the team took the design to the Reverse Engineering Lab at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research, where a 3D scan created an 8-foot computer model of the statue.
WSU’s GoCreate used the model to create a full-sized foam replica that Ernatt is covering in clay to be bronzed.
A date will be announced for the installation and dedication of the sculpture.
“WuShock is important to our family,” Clark said. “It has been exciting to see an idea, through local artists and members of the Shocker community, come to life. I’m anxious for the community to see the statue while making use of the YMCA and student wellness center behind it.”
Under construction at the corner of Mike Oatman and Mid Campus drives on the east side of campus, the Steve Clark YMCA and Student Wellness Center is scheduled to open ahead of WSU’s spring 2020 semester. The building will support the WSU community and surrounding neighborhoods. The 77,000-square-foot facility will offer drop-in daycare, social, community, fitness, meeting and wellness spaces.
A 55,000-square-foot fitness facility will offer YMCA programs and activities. Wichita State will offer a 15,000-square-foot Student Wellness Center, while Wesley Healthcare will operate a 4,000-square-foot urgent care facility for community use.
About Wichita State
The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wichitastate and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wichita.state.
About the Greater Wichita YMCA
Since 1885, the Greater Wichita YMCA has promoted healthy lifestyles, strong families, and positive youth development and encouraged healthy spirit, mind, and body for all in Southcentral Kansas. Today, we employ 1,000+ and serve 300,000+ of our neighbors in Butler, Harvey, Kingman, Reno, and Sedgwick Counties through community development, education and wellness initiatives, and licensed child care and camp. We offer members and community participants nine branch locations, four seasonal, outdoor water parks, and three, indoor sports complexes in Andover, El Dorado, Newton, and Wichita. Our courts, fields, fitness centers, indoor tracks, pools, social spaces, studios, and turf host organized sports for all ages, hundreds of fitness programs and community, educational, social, and support activities. Our 2019 Strong Community Campaign collected $3MM that ensures income-based pricing and access for all - regardless of ability to pay. Learn more at ymcawichita.org/about.