New Pistol Pete bronze sculpture unveiled outside Corbett Center

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New Pistol Pete bronze sculpture unveiled outside Corbett Center

Chancellor Arvizu poses with the new Pistol Pete bronze sculpture outside Corbett Center during its unveiling Wednesday morning.

Chancellor Arvizu poses with the new Pistol Pete bronze sculpture outside Corbett Center during its unveiling Wednesday morning.

Chancellor Arvizu poses with the new Pistol Pete bronze sculpture outside Corbett Center during its unveiling Wednesday morning.

Chancellor Arvizu poses with the new Pistol Pete bronze sculpture outside Corbett Center during its unveiling Wednesday morning.

Pistol Pete will now forever greet anybody that walks through the front doors of Corbett Center on the campus of New Mexico State University.

Members of the University’s Facilities and Services Department, along with Chancellor Dan Arvizu and his staff, unveiled a new life-size bronze sculpture that sits on the left side of a crimson bench outside the Northwest entrance of the school’s student union.

The idea came to University Architect Heather Watenpaugh while she was on a visit at Texas Christian University, which has a sculpture of their Horned Frog mascot outside of their student union.

“Earlier this year, we started having some conversations about a photo opportunity for the University and after to a visit to a Texas school (TCU) that had their mascot on a bench in front of their student union, we started looking at different groups that could complete this task,” Watenbaugh said. “We had some funding from the President’s Office and from the (NMSU) Foundation and we were able to come up with this.”

The sculpture will act like a landmark of sorts for the school, as the sculpture is positioned on the left side of the bench with its legs crossed and left arm out, making it ideal for somebody to sit with it and take a picture.

NMSU student mascot Caleb Gustin provided the details of the Pistol Pete suit for the documentation required to fabricate the sculpture. From the famous moustache to the outfit, the sculpture will be easily identifiable with the University.

“Pistol Pete has always been one of our icons that we all love, and we want to carry with some sort of legacy,” Arvizu said. “We love the idea that it is student-centric. It is something that we are trying to promote, and the students have been a big part of making this happen.”

Because of the sensitivity some may have of Pistol Pete holding weapons, Arvizu did make sure to stress that he and the University are aware of all the problems and concerns people in the community have.

“We are trying to be sensitive to the various issues and concerns that people may have,” Arvizu said. “We are pleased to celebrate what I think this monument statue represents. We trust that our alumni will be as proud as I am about our long and rich history with Pistol Pete.

“I also want to make it clear that we are very sensitive to all of the issues that we have on our campus — we are committed to safe campuses and having a place that people can celebrate and have a good time when they come on our campus.”

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