Break out the cake – the University of Memphis is celebrating its 100th birthday this year. The school, which was originally called the West Tennessee Normal School, was dedicated on September 10, 1912.
To celebrate, the University is placing one Tiger for every year all over town.
The fiberglass tigers, which weigh about 300 – 400 lbs., were decorated by 77 academic departments, organizations, campus offices and local businesses.
It's easy to tell tell which tiger belongs to which organization. There's a track and field tiger with golden shoes dangling from its mouth. In a nod to accounting, one's stripes are made from tax forms. One is very simply painted to look like a basketball, while another stationed outside of the ROTC dorms has been given wings and camouflage.
At the base of each 9 foot-long tiger is a small plaque with a fun fact for each year of the University's life. For example, in 1915, tuition for non-residents increased from $15 per quarter to a whopping $20 per quarter.
This one, which is covered in recycled tires, is one of my favorites.
If you're feeling compelled to own one, 26 of the Tigers will be auctioned off to the public in an online auction.
The Tigers will be on display until later this month, when they'll be scattered around town at their new forever homes. If you want to see them all at once, I recommend heading to the University sometime this week. (Pro tip: the highest concentration is on the field in front of the library).
Central and G.E. Patterson