Weary Wil returns in bronze

Michelle White

Michelle WhiteReporter

A statue of Weary Wil, sculpted by an SDSU alumnus, will be ready for dedication over Hobo Day weekend in 2012.

“We are still determining an exact location for the statue,” said Nick Wendell, assistant director of the Student Union and Hobo Day committee alumni.

He said the 9 foot bronze statue will be located somewhere outside of the Hobo Day Gallery north of the Union. The sculptor, 1966 alumnus David Anderson, and 1964 alumnus David Blegan, approached SDSU in 2009 with the statue idea. They received approval from administration two months later.

“I learned about the addition of the Hobo Day Gallery and thought a Weary Wil statue would be a nice addition to that,” Anderson said.

He said he has been working on the statue off and on for about a year.

“The goal is to have it completed, transported to Brookings, and ready to dedicate by Nov. 5 of this year,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he is trying to follow the caricature and make the statue look realistic at the same time. Blegen is the model for the statue.

“David was chosen because he is a former Hobo Day chairman,” Anderson said. “He looks like Weary Wil, he has a shiny top, a whiskery beard and is self confident.”

Wendell thinks the statue is a great idea.

“I’m thrilled they are putting up a Weary Wil statue,” he said. “I think it will spark conversation and bring a neat energy to campus life.”

Others shared Wendell’s view.

“I think it’s going to put an exclamation point on that part of campus,” said Chuck Cecil, former assistant to the SDSU president.

“Weary Wil is an important symbol, right up there with the jackrabbit,” said Walt Conahan, a 1952 alumnus who first officially dressed as Weary Wil for Hobo Day, a tradition that has continued since.

“I think it reflects the significance of Weary Willie to Hobo Day and [SDSU] heritage.”

The statue might provide a history lesson for some.

“I didn’t know who [Weary Wil] was until just now, so the statue will give students a reason to ask and find out,” said Paige Beauchamp, a junior human development major. “The statue will help bring Weary Wil and Hobo Day history to life.”

Weary Wil’s sidekick, Dirty Lil, will not be keeping the statue company. “We dream one day that Dirty Lil will join Weary Wil as a statue,” Wendell said.

Wendell said Weary Wil’s dog, Spot, will hopefully be at his feet, but that is still being worked out.

“The statue is 100 percent funded by alumni donations and it is costly to make a statue,” he said.

Anderson said the statue is being donated anonymously and the cost of the landscaping will be a part of the Hobo Day Gallery project.

“The Foundation is currently seeking a donor for this part of the project,” he said.

Anderson said he is trying to create a Weary Wil to be remembered.

“I am trying to portray in the statue a proud, self confident and self assured Weary Wil that says “you can go anywhere from here,'” he said.

#1.1971401:2007635766.png:A 9-foot statue of Weary Wil:A 9-foot statue of Weary Wil, based on the model above, will eventually be situated outside of the Hobo Day gallery.:Submitted Photo by David Anderson