Bronzed and supersized

When you look around, chances are somewhere nearby will be a Timeout.

No, not a short stoppage in a sporting match.

Rather, you are likely to see Fresno State’s mascot, whose name happens to be Timeout.

This fierce Bulldog stands as a symbol of pride for students, faculty and the community.

It’s branded on sweatshirts, hats and license plate frames.

One of the biggest bulldogs around is the bronze bulldog at Fresno State’s Save Mart Center.

The Bulldog Foundation, in addition to sponsors, made the statue possible by raising money to fund the project.

Executive Director of the Bulldog Foundation annual fund Patrick Ogle said among other things, the Bulldog Foundation decided to have the bronze bulldog as centerpiece in the building.

The Bulldog Foundation also sponsored the display cases around the arena and the Bulldog Foundation Community Room, which was decorated by the foundation.

Located in the Shehadey Lobby on the southeast corner of Shaw and Chestnut, the bronze statue stands 10 feet high.

“[The Bulldog] is the pictorial mascot that Fresno State has used for a number of years,� said Dennis Woods, CEO of United Security Bank — the company that made a donation for the statue. “A local artist designed that then a company in Visalia beefed it up and changed the look.�

Included on the statue is an engraved plaque, which reads: “This is our mascot and he ain’t no hound. He’s an English bull and weighs lots of pounds. He’s got two rows of teeth and a terrible frown. Hey, nobody’s kicking our dog around!�

The 4,200-pound dog (3,200 without its base), contains nine time capsules, which were placed inside its base in 2004.

The capsules, which will be opened in the year 2054, contain items which represent all aspects of Fresno State including: the Bulldog Foundation, administration, alumni, Associated Students and athletics.

“The Bulldog Foundation organized the whole time capsule event,� Ogle said. “We contacted groups to put their stuff in the time capsules.�

Included in the Bulldog Foundation’s time capsule were: bylaws, brochures from the 40th and 50th annual fund drive, vision statements for 2003 and 2004, letterhead, a book about the first 50 years titled “The Team Behind the Teams,� stickers and paper weights, among other things.

In his time capsule, President John Welty included a letter to his successor explaining how the Save Mart Center came to be.

In the Associated Students’ capsule, items included were T-shirts, a copy of The Collegian, on-campus living literature, a Korean flag, a Russian Bible and other items, which represent the diverse student culture of the university.

Also included were commemorative pins, programs, CDs of the marching band, mementos from the Save Mart Center’s opening week activities and video of the construction of the bulldog statue.

The company that made the statue was EMI, Inc. out of Visalia, Calif.

EMI has been in business for more than 25 years, specializing in bronze sculpture casting. One of the company’s owners, Jim Dritsas, is an alumnus of Fresno State.

Dritsas could not be reached for comment.

The statue took about four to five months to complete, a very short period of time for a statue of this caliber, EMI employee Renee Robbins said.
The process of making the dog, which stands 7 feet wide and 9 feet long, is known as lost wax.

“The Bulldog looks like a simple piece,� Robbins said. “But that’s far from what it was.�

Included in this process are about a dozen steps starting with finding the artwork for the piece.

After making a rubber mold, wax is poured into it then is removed and chased, which means a metal tool is used to rub out all the marks where the pieces of the mold came together.

After sprucing and slurrying, the shell is tested for leaks. A few more finishing touches and patinating which means coloring and the statue is complete.

Not a simple or quick task at all.

“Our job was to write the check,� Woods said. “We’re certainly happy with the way it came out.�

And although most people are excited about the bulldog, not everyone agrees that where it stands is the best spot for it.

“I think it’s in the worst spot ever,� kinesiology major Allyson Souza said. “It would be better if it were somewhere where everybody could see it.�

Criminology major Christopher Kelm argues that the statue can be seen from the street which shows school pride.

“I think that it’s an interesting location because you can see it from the street as you drive by it. It allows people to see our school pride as they drive past it,� he said.

“However, it would also make more sense to use that entrance more than they do, possibly by making it the student entrance.�

Regardless of where it stands, many people expressed satisfaction with the statue.

When the time capsules are opened in 2054, those involved will get a piece of everything the bulldog stands for to Fresno State.
“This was something I was happy to do,� Woods said. “And I hope the community likes it.�

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