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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.
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