Arrival of new Jumbo statue postponed until April

The new statue of Tufts’ mascot, Jumbo the elephant, is not expected to arrive on campus until April. While the statue was originally scheduled to be installed and unveiled in October of last year, it has been delayed due to construction difficulties, according to Director of Public Relations Kim Thurler. 

Instead of casting Jumbo as a whole statue, sculptor Steven Whyte instead cast it in 50 separate pieces, Thurler explained.

“Finishing and assembling those [50] pieces has been a mammoth — or, should I say, Jumbo — task,” Thurler told the Daily in an email.

According to former Vice President of Operations Richard Reynolds (LA ’67), who donated the funds for the statue’s creation, the new Jumbo monument will replicate the dimensions of the historical Jumbo, making it much larger than the previous statue. The new statue will stand at 11 feet tall, 18 feet long and weigh 4,500 pounds, he noted.

Since Whyte is based in California, the statue will have to be shipped across the country in order to reach Tufts, Reynolds explained.

Thurler also emphasized the role that weather conditions have played in the statue’s delay, noting that an April dedication will provide warmer and more comfortable weather than would the current winter conditions. No official date for the sculpture’s arrival or dedication has been set, she said.