NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A towering bronze statue will shortly take its place in the North Gate Plaza area of HighPoint.com Stadium, Rutgers University announced Tuesday.
Ron and Joanna Garutti are financing the 12-foot high statue named "Victory" that will portray the armored Scarlet Knight raising his sword in victory atop his steed.
The 2,500-pound statue will be mounted upon a 5½-foot black granite pedestal, bringing its total height to 18 feet above the plaza. It will be lighted from above and below.
"Ron and I have long traveled to our opponents' campuses, where we so often would see a statue representative of the school's mascot or tradition," said Joanna Garutti. "We felt that Rutgers, a proud Big Ten university, deserved to have its own statue, so we decided to fund it."
Ron Garutti added, "Our hope is that this symbol of our great university, while standing outside the football stadium, will be a source of pride to the entire Rutgers community and to the State of New Jersey. A source of pride to all our athletic teams, Rutgers students, faculty, alumni, donors, fans, visiting high school students, and all New Jersey residents. We would love to see it become a destination point for all visitors to our beautiful campus, a must-see spot for the taking of photos. Most of all, we hope people will looThe Garutti's gift is the latest in their support of Rutgers Athletics. The Ron and Joanna Garutti Strength and Conditioning Center opened inside the football program's Hale Center in the summer of 2016. The couple, 2016 recipients of the 1869 Legacy Award for "lifetime impact on Rutgers Athletics," also fully endow a football scholarship, and have generously supported the Big Ten Champions Fund. Ron is Vice-Chair of the Rutgers Board of Trustees and a member of the Rutgers Board of Overseers.
"We are so appreciative that Ron and Joanna are adding this very visible symbol of Scarlet Knight pride and commitment to excellence," said Rutgers Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. "Time and time again the Garuttis are there for us. And what a great way to kick off our 150th-anniversary celebration."
The "Victory" statue will be dedicated Friday, Aug. 30, before Rutgers' season opener against University of Massachusetts Mass, and will kick-off a season-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first college football game played at Rutgers and recognition of the school as the Birthplace of College Football.k at it, and say, 'I am proud of Rutgers University.' "
The dedication will represent the culmination of a more than two-year creative and artistic process, during which time the Garuttis worked with a multidisciplinary internal Rutgers team, the design team of the actual sculptors of the statue from the Randolph Rose Collection of Yonkers, N.Y., the architectural team from Perkins Eastman of New York, N.Y., and the general contractor of the project, Michael Riesz and Co. of Woodbridge.
By CHUCK O'DONNELL