Victory Eagle takes flight to Atlanta

Photo: Courtney Bonacci

Caitlyn Oliver

Georgia Southern University’s Victory Eagle was under repair and receiving touch-up work before it took flight last night to Atlanta to represent GSU in the state capitol today.

Elsie Hill, professor of painting and drawing and Brandon Warnock, a junior art major, took charge of the repairs.

“Being outside, the eagle was dirty and had some sun damage. The original artist left a list of the paints she used so we recreated the colors as best as possible. We were happy to repair it,” Hill said.

The sculpture was commissioned by Rose Mae Bogan Millikan in 2011 and painted by Kristina Hall, then a GSU student. She is currently an art appreciation instructor at Dalton State University.

The eagle was one of three that year to be commissioned and, after being on display for the inaugural Eagle Nation on Display auction, was donated back to the university to be displayed in the Foy Building.

Originally, the Victory Eagle was part of the Eagle Nation on Parade contest. It is an open invitation to artists around the entire state of Georgia to submit design plans that are chosen by Eagle Nation on Parade.

According to their website, Eagle Nation on Parade is a public art project dedicated to the traditions and unity of the GSU campus and Statesboro area, and supports student scholarships and research.

Today will be the first annual Georgia Southern University day in the capitol. The Victory Eagle will be a backdrop for pictures as it represents both the university and is government themed.

“It’s a great way for legislators to see what we do at home and to fund higher education. It shows what the state investments are producing,” Russell Keen, vice president of government relations and community engagement, said.

The point of the event in Atlanta is to show the representatives the spirit of GSU because many of them are unfamiliar with the university and what it has to offer.

“Most universities like UGA and Georgia Tech already have a represented day in the capitol. This will be the first for Georgia Southern University,” said Suzanne Tatum, assistant to the vice president of government relations and community engagement.

The event will play host to approximately 70 people from GSU, including Dr. Keel, most college deans and many students.

Twelve tables will represent multiple aspects of GSU life. Two will belong to Dining Services, which will offer a variety of the food available to students. The university mascot, Freedom, will make the trip and have a table as well.

Keen said having the Victory Eagle in Atlanta at Georgia Southern’s day in the capitol says ‘We are the eagles’ and ties in perfectly with the idea of freedom and our government. It says a lot about our country and state and will have an additional impact to the other ways the university will be presented.