By Ann Gill (’76)
A bronze ram statue, “Meet the Challenge,” now marks the southeastern gateway to campus. Located on the corner of College and Prospect in front of the new Colorado State University Health and Medical Center, the ram made a decade-and-a-half journey across campus to arrive at its new home.
John Goodier (B.S., ’59) is responsible for bringing “Meet the Challenge” to campus. He planned to raise funds to commission artist Rich Haines, of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Park City, Utah, to cast it. Goodier originally envisioned installing it near Moby Arena, but the University had agreed to install another statue, “Ram Pride” by artist Dawn Weimer, in that area, so he turned to the Alumni Association.
The fundraising effort featured sale of bronze maquettes – small replicas of the proposed statue. Those efforts were successful, and the University installed “Meet the Challenge” in front of the Alumni Center, which at that time was located in the former president’s house at the west end of Laurel. The Alumni Association held a dedication for the ram statue in September of 2003.
When the Alumni Association moved to the Tiley House on the corner of College and Pitkin, just south of the CSU track, “Meet the Challenge” moved to the Plaza, near the entrance to Morgan Library.
That home also turned out to be temporary. When the University began construction on the Cube, a glass 24-hour study space for students, at the spot where the Alumni Association’s ram stood, “Meet the Challenge” again relocated, this time to the Plaza east of Lory Student Center, just outside the Senate Chambers.
Then the remodel of Lory Student Center forced yet another relocation of the statue back to Morgan Library, on the Plaza just north of the Cube.
Finally, during planning for the Health and Medical Center, the University decided it wanted a welcome-to-campus monument for the site, and “Meet the Challenge” found its permanent home. For the first time, the ram statue includes a plaque recognizing the donors who made it possible. Many people have remarked that it looks perfect in this location. Facilities Management landscape architect Fred Haberecht agrees: “There is no more prominent spot for public interface with this campus. The Alumni Center’s ram announces that CSU is an engaged community and the public is welcome on our campus.”