Crimson Hawk statue decorates the Oak Grove

IUP's mascot Norm was present at the unveiling of the new Crimson Hawk statue in the Oak Grove.

“We are unveiling this statue in honor of the extraordinary generosity of Ray Kinter, class of 1967. By gifting this statue to IUP, Ray Kinter has made an impact that will last forever.”

The Crimson Hawk Dedication Ceremony and unveiling happened in front of IUP’s Performing Arts Center. Students, alumni, community members, and members of Kinter’s family all gathered in support of the statue unveiling.

The statue itself is located in the grassy area in front of the large windows of Fisher Auditorium.

“Ray Kinter is an incredible gift to the university, our students of today and the future, and the alumni who are proud to call IUP home,” Khatmeh Osseiran-Hanna, the IUP Vice President for University Advancement, said. “I wish Ray could be with us this afternoon. He asked to pass along his regrets, as he could personally tell his story much better than I can, and how IUP made a huge impact on his life.”

Raymond Gibby was the creator of the Crimson Hawk sculpture. The sculpture is made out of bronze, which is the material Gibby uses exclusively. He loves to use wildlife as inspiration for his art. Kinter wanted to make sure that the hawk statue was a realistic depiction of the red hawk, so the statue that Gibby made is true to size and certainly realistic to a hawk’s physique.

A recurring theme in the ceremony was the expression of generosity and gratitude that Kinter has towards IUP.

“He’s really humble, and he will always say that IUP gave him more than he has given IUP. But the truth is, Ray has been a dedicated and active member of the IUP family for many years. We owe him our sincere gratitude for his generosity,” Osseiran-Hanna said.

Ray Kinter graduated IUP in 1967 from the College of Education and Communications with a degree in early childhood education, and then graduated with his master’s degree in ‘68.

Jerry Pickering, the President of IUP’s Arboretum, went on to explain Kinter’s love and interest in being a cowboy, and specifically working with horses.

Pickering said Kinter was “always a cowboy at heart,” and that he lived the dream of many during the “cowboy generation.”

Pickering first got in contact with Kinter in 2017, after Kinter read one of the annual reports from the arboretum. Kinter suggested they start a project called Art in the Arboretum, and this hawk statue is a product of the project. There were other previous projects that the Art in the Arboretum did, but many were delayed due to COVID-19.

Along with the hawk statue, four benches surrounding it were installed as well. Each bench is dedicated to one of Kinter’s aunts, all of whom were at the unveiling.

“The statue will serve as a bridge from our past to the future, generations of proud IUP alumni will return to the Oak Grove as they always do,” Osseiran-Hanna said. “And I am certain they will see a prospective IUP student admiring the statue, eager to make it the centerpiece of the memories of their visit.”

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