Engineering students from the University of Central Florida returned the once damaged “Wind Dancer” sculpture of Pegasus to its original glory on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
The statue was initially damaged on Sept. 3 after UCF’s first Football game against Florida International University.
Security footage caught a man climbing the statue and damaging its mount, causing it to bend.
The Burnett Honors College released the security video and offered a reward for any information leading to the accused vandals. No new information has been reported.
The main focus for Dr. Ali Gordon, College of Engineering and Computer Science Professor, has been to turn the unfortunate event into an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in class.
“To say the students helped out is a bit of an understatement, these students did the bulk of the work, and were prepared to do this work through their classes and other hands-on experience, “ Dr. Gordon said. “It is really good to turn something negative into a positive.”
The group of student volunteers selected to work on the statue comprise of mechanical engineering majors at both the junior and senior levels. Jennifer Ambrose, Anthony Defilippo, Cullen Fitzgerald, Chad Robinson and Jared Weber were the students who provided the necessary skills to fix this once firm statue.
The artwork was removed from its location in front of the Burnett Honor’s College last Tuesday and transported to the Manufacturing Lab at the College of Engineering and Computer Science.
Ambrose, Defilippo and Fitzgerald designed the mount for the statue using a machine called a lathe to make the support piece.
Weber, who is part of UCF’s Society of Automotive Engineers, contributed by welding the new support pieces together.
Ambrose, 21, said “I was really glad to be a part of it because it allowed us to get hands on experience that we don’t get in classes and to apply the knowledge we get in class into a real life application.”
Robinson, 23, said this afternoon, “Unfortunately you can’t stop people from doing stuff like that [riding the statue]; basically all you can do is prepare, and I think we did a good job of that today.”
A $100 reward is still being offered for any information leading to the identification of the two individuals seen in the video. Any information should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the UCF Police Department at 407-823-5555.
Photo credit: Aileen Perilla