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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Top five statues on Campus

Graphic by Pranay Dhoopar

Texas A&M may not seem like a college for art lovers with its boring beige buildings and love for brutalism. However, if you know where to look, there are some beautiful artistic gems hidden on campus.
You may expect me to mention the 12th Man or the new Reveille statues, but I think those are already loved and appreciated by old and new Ags alike. With those displayed near A&M’s crown jewel of Kyle Field, they’ve had their moment in the spotlight. So, I’m going to shine a light on some underappreciated masterpieces you may have never seen.
Shaping the future
We’re saving the best for last, so coming in at fifth place is Shaping the Future by William McGlaun. Located between the Harrington Education Center and Bolton Hall, this bronze statue depicts small children lifted up by an open book while a teacher directs their gaze to the stars.
It’s whimsical and dreamy, just like the world viewed through a child’s eyes. The children are eagerly reaching for the unknown, all while the teacher holds their hands elevating them further toward their dreams, ambitions and goals.
It’s a beautiful tribute, and every time I walk by, I take a moment to thank and appreciate all of the teachers who have helped me not only academically, but also personally. Art is meant for reflection and appreciation, so if you find yourself on the south side, look for this statue and think about the teachers who’ve impacted you. I’m sure they think about you every now and then too.
Arch 406
The number four spot belongs to Arch 406 by Lawrence Ludtke and Veryl Goodnight, donated by Joe Hiram Moore and his wife in memory of their son, Stephen. The statue depicts Stephen walking his loyal golden retriever outside the Langford Architecture Center. The dog is joyfully trotting alongside his best friend, while Stephen has his arm extended out front.
It’s undeniably an endearing glimpse at the relationship between man and his best friend. Sorry cat lovers, it’s just the truth. Dogs rule.
Robert J. Kleberg Jr. Statue
The number three ranking goes to The Robert J. Kleberg Jr. Statue by Jim Reno. This bronze statue shows Robert Justus Kleberg decked out in a full western wardrobe sitting astride his horse, keeping watch over this beloved University. This statue is located outside one of the most important buildings on campus, at least to my family: the Kleberg Center.
For those non-Ag majors, the Kleberg Center is home to the Animal and Food Science courses. The first Aggie in my family, my father, Christopher McMurrough, Class of 1996 poultry science major, frequented this building more times than I could count.
I owe my father everything when it comes to my love for A&M, so when deciding the rankings, I knew I had to include this one. Not only is the Robert J. Kleberg statue dedicated to the man who helped settle the Texas west through his ranching business and his contribution to the oil industry, but is also a personal dedication to the man who established my love for A&M.
In the number two spot is Adagio by Larry Schueckler, located outside Rudder Tower. This statue depicts a ballerina in an intricate bowing position, a conductor signifying a crescendo in the performance and a young child playing the recorder gleefully. This statue is special to me because it’s dedicated to the Memorial Student Center, or MSC, Committee, OPAS.
Once an acronym for the Operatic Performing Arts Society, but now solely referred to as OPAS, it is a student committee I proudly belong to. This statue reminds me of all the late nights, early mornings and artistic experiences I’ve had in the MSC and Rudder Auditorium.
This statue is a good reminder of the wonderful escape that is art. Art allows people to express themselves when words fail and there is nothing more beautiful and intimate than that.
The Roughneck
Finally, the number one statue on campus is one for the ladies — The Roughneck by Rosie Sandifer. This statue was created for women by women and is easily the best on campus.
Located outside of the Petroleum Engineering Building, the Roughneck depicts an oil worker maintaining a 20-foot oil pipeline with a chain. It’s an action shot frozen in time, with the chain whipping around the pipeline. Any woman that passes this statue has had brief thoughts of becoming a petroleum engineer.
Not only is this statue dedicated to the rough, tough, real stuff, Texas Aggies hard at work in the oil industry, but it is also a tribute to all the Aggies striving to keep the world going round.
Texas A&M is host to an abundance of beautifully unique statues that help tell the stories of our past and point towards the potential of the future. Next time you’re on campus, do yourself a favor and check them out.
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Maddie McMurrough, Opinion Writer
Maddie McMurrough is an agricultural communications and journalism major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Maddie has been writing for the Battalion since March 2023.
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