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Canisius College - Science Hall Public Art
Canisius College, 1901 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

Canisius College  - Official website

The original Sears Roebuck store in Buffalo, closed 1980, later purchased by Canisius College                      Image courtesy of Buffalo Stories

Mural and sculpture

The Golden Griffin, mascot of Canisius College

The Crucible Foundry, in Norman, OK

Eagle head and wings, lion's body with eagle talons as front feet



FEBRUARY 28, 2017

BUFFALO, NY - Did you hear it?

That high-pitched squawk cawing coming from the front of campus.

It’s no ordinary sound.  Rather, it’s the extraordinary sound of our mighty mascot- the Griffin. 

An eagle and lion, in one, he is king of birds and beasts.  He is the Griffin, our golden one who, in September, ceremoniously came home to nest. 

“Today, for Canisius students and graduates everywhere – Golden Griffins one and all - we dedicate this beautiful statue of our mythical mascot,” said President John J. Hurley during Homecoming Weekend ceremonies (page xx).  “The Golden Griffin is an enduring symbol of Canisius. The installation of this statue on Main Street creates yet another ‘place’ on campus and shouts to the world, ‘We are the Golden Griffins; we are Canisius!’   We trust that this place will serve as a backdrop for some of the most significant campus memories of our students and alumni.” 

For years, alumni mused over the idea of immortalizing the Griffin with a statue on campus.  Richard Kubiak ’16 and members of the 2016 Undergraduate Student Association (USA) made it happen. 

“USA ended its fiscal year with a significant surplus and it was nearly unanimous among senate leaders that the money be gifted back to the college,” explained Kubiak, USA’s immediate past president.

The student association used half of its $200,000 surplus to establish an endowed scholarship for students who demonstrate financial need.  USA used the other half to commission the statue. 

The 1,500-pound replica of the Golden Griffin traveled more than 1,200 miles, via tractor trailer, from the Crucible Foundry, in Norman, OK.  Sculpted out of an oil-based clay, the Griffin is cast in bronze which, according to creator Mark Palmerton, “can endure upwards of 12,000 years.” (An appropriate alloy for a mythological creature who sprang from the human imagination more than 5,000 years ago!)

The Griffin stands six feet tall and extends eight feet long.  Now permanently perched outside Science Hall, this defender of divine power overlooks the Main Street campus, safeguarding all who pass by. 

He is an intimidating sentry, for sure.   Any doubts of that were surely allayed in September when Canisius consecrated its patron protector.  Upon his blessing, the Griffin pierced the peaceful confines of campus, unleashing his unmistakable Hjckrrh!”

Did you hear it?


Color photos and their arrangement © 2021 Chuck LaChiusa
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