USciences Honors Memory of Charlie the Campus Cat with Statue

By Erin O'Boyle

Published on May 22, 2018

An unofficial school mascot and a pillar of the USciences community, when Charlie the cat passed away in September 2017 at age 14 the students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends lost an icon of campus life. To honor his presence at USciences for so many years, President Paul Katz, MD, unveiled a statue dedicated to Charlie on April 13, 2018, in a special ceremony during Student Appreciation Day.

A fixture around Griffith and Whitecar Halls, Charlie was often seen coming and going as he pleased, sitting by doors and waiting patiently for someone to open them so he could continue on to his next destination. Charlie napped whenever and wherever he liked; some of his known napping spots were the stairwell in Griffith Hall, paper-strewn office desktops and chairs, the middle of the mail room floor, or the grass under the bench outside of the Admission Office. He enjoyed countless head pats and treats from generations of USciences students, faculty, and staff. He even had his very own Facebook fan page filled with pictures and stories of his adventures around campus.

But USciences was Charlie’s second home. He lived in Regent Square, the street just behind D’Angelo Mall, with Naomi Segal and Rei Brosco, who found him on their porch when he was just one year old. Charlie quickly made it known that he was both an indoor and outdoor cat and spent the first few years close to home before venturing farther away and discovering USciences’ campus. He quickly became a popular with students, faculty and staff who looked forward to opening a door to have him walk through, or turning a corner to see him sprawled across the walkway.

Charlie StatueWhen Charlie passed away in September, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Rob Rudd knew the University had to preserve Charlie’s memory. Rudd and Dr. Katz went into their own pockets to purchase a statue by renowned artist Veryl Goodnight to honor Charlie and his meaning to campus. Goodnight, a Colorado-based artist, is best known for her sculptures of animals, including The Day the Wall Came Down, a seven-ton sculpture on the Texas A&M University campus that is a tribute to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The statue in Charlie’s honor will have a permanent home in Griffith Hall’s main lobby, atop a pedestal crafted by the USciences Facilities Department and Dan Severino, where people can visit and find solace, relive happy memories, and start new traditions.

Categories: USciences, Alumni, President's Office, Institutional Advancement, Campus, Community, Event, Student Life