Aug 23, 2021

Accessing the hive mind

The wooden sculpture of our Yellowjacket mascot sits quietly in a corner of Wilson Commons--it took a swarm of people to tell its story.

The Ask the Archivist column in the Summer 2021 Rochester Review answered a question from Campus Times Features Editor Melanie Earle ’23, who asked about the history of the carved wooden Yellowjacket sculpture which currently nests in a corner of Hirst Lounge in Wilson Commons. You can read the article here

The sculpture was carved from one of the original oak trees on the River Campus and depicts two of the University's emblems, a yellowjacket and dandelion. It was created by artist Matthew Kron in October, 2001 a few weeks after the tragedy of 9-11. Moved by the courage of Jeremy Glick '93, Kron added Glick's name to the piece.

Below you will find photographs of the sculpture, and of the people who made it, preserved it, and moved it to its current location.

The oak tree stood near Gilbert Hall. Its roots were damaged during a construction project when appropriate precautions were not taken to preserve the roots from damage by construction vehicles.

Note the inset area at the front edge which bears Kron's signature.This area was damaged by insects and the signature lost, which caused further loss of the history of the piece.

The sculpture was removed from the rest of the trunk to preserve it from further decay and termite infestation.

Facilities staff removed the damage by hand.

The restored sculpture in work area of 612 Wilson Boulevard


Facilities staff maneuvered the sculpture into Wilson Commons.

Close-up of the inscription honoring Jeremy Glick '93



Post from Melissa Mead John M. and Barbara Keil University Archivist and Rochester Collections Librarian