During most college tours, a guide will often point out a bell tower, fountain or statue that acts as a symbol for the campus at large. That is surely the case for West Texas A&M, which boasts the construction of a massive, 1,700 pound buffalo statue. For Lambda Chi Alpha members, this statue has extra significance as our men were the ones who helped build it.
In 1967, renown sculptor, Jack King Hill took axe to stone and created a symbol that would stand for over 52 years. Before it was sculpted, however, the $3,800 dollar price tag was the obstacle standing in their way. To put the cost in perspective, $3,600 would have landed the university a brand-new Cadillac; that is only $200 less than the physical representation of the West Texas A&M mascot. The men of Lambda Chi Alpha, as always, accepted the challenge to fundraise for the statue to be built and improve student morale.
Their effort was successful and even garnered the chapter an engraved plate to recognize their excellence for years to come. On February 5, 2019, the statue was removed in order to restore the sculpture and relocate it to a more prominent location on campus. These renovations aren’t free and, once again, the men of Lambda Chi Alpha stepped up to represent their campus.
“We raised $36,000 but it only cost $25,000 to $28,000; we raised more than we needed and gave more to the school. Financially, we have 40 [individuals] involved in this. We have guys from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, so we really cover every spectrum” explains Randal Locke (University of West Texas Ι Ξ, ‘84), an active alumnus in the area.
The tight-knit group knew that, if their significance on the campus was going to last through the ages, they would need to have a leading part in it. They had no hesitation to fund the relocation and renovation, it was a given to continue the legacy that past Lambda Chi Alpha Brothers began. Ensuring that the Fraternity make a difference on the West Texas A&M campus was a given for the group.
“We’ve got a group of us who are in the area and ready to help. That, and our yearly reunion coming in can make a big difference” says Locke.
The connection Locke, and the rest of the West Texas A&M alumni group, feels toward his Brothers is one that goes deeper than simply paying for a buffalo statue renovation and reconstruction. It’s about the natural connection they feel for the fraternity and recognizing that this Brotherhood cannot be replicated. Although their chapter may not currently be present on campus, the alumni Brotherhood remains a constant in his life.
“What we get from our entire experience at Lambda Chi Alpha is that sense of Brotherhood you just don’t find anywhere else. Lambda Chi Alpha to me is that true Brotherhood that really enshrines the Seven Core Values we have to make a significant direction towards everyone we meet. It allows me to give that same love to everyone I meet.”
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