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Ad-Hoc Committee on the New Jumbo Statue Records

Call Number: UA241

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the work of the Ad-hoc Committee on the New Jumbo Statue, chaired by Andrew McClellan, Professor of Art History. The committee was active from August 2012 through December 2014. This collection is comprised of correspondence documenting the selection of sculptor Steven Whyte and the commission process.


  • Creation: 2012 -- 2014


University records are closed for 20 years from the date of their creation. Records older than 20 years that do not pertain to student education, staff and faculty employment and Board of Trustees records are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

In the fall of 2012, an ad hoc committee was formed for the purpose of commissioning a sculptor to create a life-size statue of Jumbo the Elephant for the Tufts University Medford/Somerville campus. The committee’s priorities were to replace the smaller concrete statue on campus, donated in 1993 from a New Hampshire theme park; it aimed to commission a replacement which was a more accurate representation of the original Jumbo. The committee was chaired by Andrew McClellan, a professor of Art History, and was made up of both faculty and students. The committee decided on Stephen Whyte in 2013 as the artist for the statue. Whyte, based in California, cast the statue over the next two years, and shipped the result to the campus in April of 2015. The statue was unveiled on April 17, 2015. The statue was funded entirely through donations; notable donors included Dick Reynolds, former vice president of operations, whose gift paid for the sculpture, as well as Richard and Sheila Asher, who donated funds for the creation of the garden surrounding the statue. In the weeks up to the statue’s installation, the statue attracted criticism from some students, who cited the school’s financial priorities in context of recent custodial layoffs. During the statue’s unveiling, the Tufts Labor Coalition led a protest by standing silently in front of the statue, and holding a large banner.


1 Digital Object(s) (1 digital object comprising 232 files.)

99.4 Megabytes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection was transferred to Digital Collections and Archives in December 2014 by Andrew McClellan, Professor of Art History and Chair of the Ad-hoc Committee on the New Jumbo Statue.

Processing status

This collection is minimally processed.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Records and Accessioning Archivist, Jane Kelly, in June 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States