ASU's "Clyde" Makes Big Move

March 22, 2004 -- Posted at 4:08 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- When you're over 40 years old and weigh in at over a thousand pounds, it's kind of an ordeal to get around. Meet Clyde, the Native American Indian mascot of ASU; he's a Carrara Marble statue from Italy and he's over seven feet tall.

"We want him here to show everyone that we are the ASU Indians and that he is here to watch over the students, that's what the students back in 1959 originally placed him in Wilson Hall to kind of keep watch, because that's what an Indian chief did, was to keep watch over his tribe," said Frances Hart, University Communication Coordinator, "So that's what he's here for and he's in the Student Union for the same purposes once again."

Clyde had a kind of a big day Monday...moving from the main hall of the Reng Center to the new Student Union.

"I was nervous as a cat the whole time, and afraid we'd turn him over and break him," laughed State Senator Jerry Bookout, "The University people did a great job of crating him up and moving him, they weren't nearly as nervous as I was."

Clyde was originally purchased by the Student Government Association in 1958 for $1,200. Today his value is more than 10 times that. ASU students say they're glad that Clyde is finally here with them in the new Student Union.

Shelley LunBeck serves as the campus Student Government Association President and said, "It kind of brings a sense of tradition and pride along with all of our students, Clyde's been watching over students in the Reng Center for 50 years, over 50 years. So just having him over here brings the sense of students before us and Clyde is still going to be watching over us."

So just how does a Marble Indian get the name Clyde?

"The elderly gentleman that actually did the work to get Clyde here from Italy was a dear friend of mine and I bought my first monument company from him. Great relationship with Mr. Spence, his name was Clyde by the way and that's where the Clyde came from for the name of the Indian," said Bookout.

And hopefully, Clyde has found a permanent home...the new Student Union will have a grand opening for students Tuesday at noon, and the facility will be showcased in an open house for the community Wednesday morning at 11.