We here at the Wheel love Dooley. We love the sense of wonder, the enjoyable solemnity and pageantry of his appearances and, of course, the relative randomness of the fact that rallying around a skeleton is our foremost way of showing school spirit. So we raise no objection to recognitions of Dooley’s presence at Emory.
But doing so with the new $80,000 Dooley statue that’s now on display in Asbury Circle might not have been the way. Just the opposite, in fact.
The statue wasn’t cheap, and in light of Emory’s capital campaign, those funds might have been better used in one of the many University divisions or programs currently asking for funding.
Additionally, the statue seems a bit vulnerable to the hazards that come with a campus known for defacing its statues. There are some risks in placing such a statue in a much-trafficked area. Its small, tenuously held parts could easily be missed in the dark or when hurrying to a class. And what about the drunken vandalism? Or the regular vandalism, for that matter? Case in point: the Robert Woodruff statue, which, by the way, seems very solid by comparison. Who knows what will happen to a statue like Dooley’s, which includes so many oddly grafted sections?
And to raise a more subjective point: Can it really be called a statue of Dooley? His Lordship is most recognizable in his suit and top hat, while this statue is simply a naked skeleton; a rumpled suit sits on the ground in front of him.
If the statue seemed sturdy enough and resembled Dooley more closely, perhaps the expense would be excusable. After all, there’s a place for art on campus, and art isn’t cheap.
But as we all know, Dooley lives on forever, impervious to the elements and other unforseeable events. So why doesn’t he get a statue that follows suit?
The above staff editorials represent the majority opinion of the Wheel’s Editorial Board.