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New Bronze “Tom” Statue Revealed At U of M

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(Memphis) Students and faculty got to see "Tom" for the first time on Friday afternoon.

The tiger symbolizes 100 years of success at the University Memphis and it's the height of the school's centennial celebration.

"We have talked about having a bronze tiger sculpture on our campus for more than a decade," said Bobby Prince with the University of Memphis. "This is our centennial. "What better time to do it?"

Through donations, the University says it commissioned an artist from Wyoming to sculpt the statue. That man held his breath as his creation was revealed for the first time.

"Oh, absolutely nervous," said David Alan Clark.

David Alan Clark says the sculpture is a replica of the university's real-life mascot "Tom the tiger", who also made a rare appearance on campus Friday.

Clark says he spent about 8 months crafting the statue that is now going to be a permanent fixture in the center of campus

"It's exciting. It's happy. It's definitely relieved," Clark said. "I have a few less grey hairs now."

As the university of Memphis celebrates its anniversary, you can find 100 decorated fiberglass tigers around town but school officials say this one is different. It's bronze, larger than life and going to remain here for years to come.