This striking bronze statue was unveiled on Friday, June 26, and with the bench and plaque, serves as a dynamic tribute to the 110 De La Salle Christian Brothers who have served at the university since 1960. Designed and executed by artist Alec M. Smith of St. Paul, Minnesota, the project was funded through the generosity of the late James (’60) and Mary Clare Sczepaniak.
What marks this statue as distinctive is its uncanny ability to “pull you in”. The way the Brother is situated on the bench and the fact that the bench is curved means that in order to really gaze at the statue means you have to sit down and engage in a “conversation”. The intensity of the face and the attentive demeanor are striking, as is the rather rumpled and therefore realistic appearance of the Brother’s suit. All of these touches are clearly deliberate on the artist’s part to represent a “real” Brother truly being present to whomever is seated with him.
The image of the Brother is not based on any particular Brother, but rather is meant to represent all Brothers on this, the 55th anniversary of the Brothers coming to Lewis. It truly is a special and fitting tribute to all of these men, past and present, who have served at Lewis,. Particular mention needs to be made of Bro. Ray McManaman, who was part of the unveiling. He is one of the original seven Brothers who came to Lewis. He is the only one still alive, and also is still teaching full-time in the theology department. Bravo, Bro. Ray!
Before we left, Brother did ask to have a special talk with Bro. David Galinski, and most of us Brothers would agree that such a talk was long overdue!
Live Jesus in our hearts. Forever!