This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

September 21, 1957

It was on this day that SBU received its classic “Brown Indian” statue that still resides at the school.

In 1957, Camp Turner at Chautauqua Lake was determining who to donate a Native American statue to. Friars from St. Bonaventure University, Canisius College and Niagara University all wanted the statue for their respective schools. Eventually, Camp Turner decided Bonaventure was the best recipient because of its mascot (the Brown Indian) and also its close proximity to an Indian reservation. The statue was placed on top of Butler Gym in 1958 where it would remain for 12 years.

By 1969, the statue‘s weight became too much for the roof of the gym, and it was moved to the Rathskeller, which had been recently opened. But this location was even easier for students to vandalize or toy with the statue.

The “Brown Indian” statue was removed from the Skeller in 1972 and moved to the office of the chief of security, Wilber Hoffman, for a year. It would then be moved to Campus Ministries in 1973. Sometime between then and now, the statue was moved to its current home in the Quick Center.

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