Mead recognized for his artistry for Northeast’s hawk sculpture

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by sarahp  4/21/2017 8:42:18 AM -- 

NORFOLK – The former Northeast Community College instructor who crafted a stainless statue of the institution’s mascot has been recognized for his work. Merle Mead was surprised with a plaque acknowledging his work on the Hawk statute at a recent meeting of the College Board of Governors.

“The Hawk is the Northeast mascot…a majestic symbol that is branded in the hearts and minds of our beloved College. This sculpture is a visual representation of who we are….the Hawks,” said Dr. Michael Chipps in presenting the plaque to Mead. “Merle donated his time and talents to this endeavor and was devoted to the work to the very end. Mr. Mead, on behalf of the College, thank you very much for your hard work on this wonderful representation of the College. Your work will be seen and cherished by all for generations to come.”

The five-foot long hawk, with a nearly nine-foot wing span, stands on a three-foot concrete pedestal near the front entrance to the Cox Activities Center on Northeast’s Norfolk campus. It was commissioned by members of the 2014-15 and 2015-16 Student Government Association as their “signature project.”

Mead, a welding/machinist instructor at Northeast from 1978-2011, said he was proud to be part of the project and thanked those involved for putting their trust in him.

“It was a great group effort and I am proud of the students. When I met with them and their advisors….I told them the College has been great to myself and my family all these years and I need to do something to repay them and the students for their loyalty and their trust. I am proud to be part of the College and support the College and you have some of the greatest students in the world. Believe me, when they are dedicated to a project, they stay with it.” 

The recognition comes following the announcement this spring that the “Hawk Sculpture Campus Tradition” was presented the 2017 National Service Project of the Year Award from the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities at the organization’s annual national conference in Orlando, FL. It was one of five awards presented at the conference attended by approximately 330 representatives from over 100 colleges and universities from across the United States.   

Carissa Kollath, director of student activities at Northeast, Amanda Engelhart, business instructor, and Lisa Reifenrath, advisor, worked and guided the students on the Hawk Sculpture project over the two-year period.

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