New Frost Statue on WT Campus Damaged by Vandals; Information Sought on Crime

New+Frost+Statue+on+WT+Campus+Damaged+by+Vandals%3B+Information+Sought+on+Crime

CANYON, Texas — The West Texas A&M University Police Department is seeking tips to help locate suspects in an on-campus act of vandalism.

Around Oct. 30, the newly installed bronze sculpture of poet Robert Frost in front of Cornette Library was seriously damaged when one or more vandals broke off the leg of Frost’s writing desk.

“This has to have taken some pressure and some time to have occurred,” said Dr. Pat Tyrer, WT’s Jenny Lind Porter Professor of English. “It’s an awful act of vandalism.”

WT landscapers found the broken leg elsewhere on campus.

“We’re hoping anyone who saw the vandalism or have heard who might have perpetrated it will come forward,” said UPD Assistant Chief Robert Byrd. “It’s such a senseless, stupid act; that’s the disappointing aspect.”

The sculpture will be repaired in the days to come. Cameras soon will be installed around Cornette Library to provide added security for the sculpture and others that may be added in the courtyard in the future.

UPD and the Office of Academic Affairs will offer a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest. Tips may be reported to 806-651-2300.

The sculpture was dedicated in honor of former WT President James P. and Mary Elizabeth Cornette in October.

The Frost sculpture is the work of George W. Lundeen of Loveland, Colorado, whose works—including several other depictions of Frost—adorn university campuses and more nationwide.

The sculpture was purchased through a consortium that included the Texas Poets’ Corner, a collection of rare books, art and antique furnishings donated by the late Jenny Lind Porter and husband Lawrence E. Scott. Porter, the former poet laureate of Texas and a former WT professor of English, bequeathed the Texas Poets’ Corner a $2.8 million estate gift, a portion of which was used to create a permanent acquisition fund for art, rare books and more.

The Texas Poets’ Corner is among the distinctive academic resources and programs for students that are laid out in the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $110 million.

 

Photo: Dr. James L. Cornette, son of former WT President James P. and Mary Elizabeth Cornette, speaks in October at the dedication of a sculpture of Robert Frost in his parents’ honor at Cornette Library. The sculpture was vandalized around Halloween; a reward is sought for information about the crime.

 

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