NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Old Dominion University's Big Blue mascot has been immortalized in bronze.
Hundreds of ODU Monarchs were on hand when a 7-foot-tall statue of Big Blue was unveiled in the Webb Center on the Norfolk campus Friday.
ODU's Student Government leaders were apparently inspired after seeing a similar statue at Ohio State. They hired Virginia Beach sculptor Richard Stravitz to create the bronze likeness. Stravitz says it took him months to complete the work.
The statue is going to become part of a new tradition. When students enter ODU they will take their picture with Big Blue to mark the beginning of their Monarch journey. They'll get their picture taken again as part of the graduation celebration.
The Big Blue mascot represents the Monarch symbol of a lion wearing a royal crown.
In 2011, Big Blue was selected as the Capital One Mascot of the Year, after receiving nearly 2 million votes in the online competition.
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Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.