Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    Tommy Statue, UNC (Pembroke)

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Educational Institutions

    Animal Monuments


  • Creator

    Paul Van Zandt, Red Springs, NC, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The statue depicts "Tommy", the mascot of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Tommy is a bronze hawk, 22-inches tall with a 57-inch wingspan weighing 150 pounds. The bird, with its wings outstretched as if just landing, is perched atop a large, natural granite boulder. A small bronze plaque with the inscribed dedication is mounted on the front of the boulder.

    Images: Inscription

  • Inscription

    "Tommy" / The Red-tail Hawk is a gift from the Class of 1999. / This tribute honors the spirit of UNCP Braves. / Seek the hawk within yourself / Dedicated: February 10, 1999 / Artist: Paul Van Zandt

  • Custodian

    University of North Carolina at Pembroke

  • Dedication Date

    February 10, 1999

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    34.688700 , -79.200780 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Tommy - UNC-Pembroke school mascot," School Mascots on, (accessed September 23, 2013) Link

      Minard, Alison. "University of North Carolina at Pembroke celebration 125 years,", October 20, 2012, (accessed September 17, 2013)

      University of North Carolina at Pembroke. "Traditions," at, (accessed April 9, 2019) Link

      University of North Carolina at Pembroke. “Landmarks and Points of Interest” at, (accessed February 14, 2016) Link

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze statue, granite base

  • Sponsors

    Native American Design Services

  • Nickname

    Tommy Hawk

  • Subject Notes

    The statue is meant to resemble the red-tailed hawk, a bird indigenous to Robeson County. The hawk statue was a gift from the UNC-Pembroke Class of 1999. Students and visitors are encouraged to rub the rock for good luck.

    The sculptor, Paul Van Zandt, is a retired emeritus professor of sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He completed the project in 16 weeks. The sculpture was crafted after close observations of a red-tailed hawk, which is indigenous to Robeson County.

  • Controversies

    The mascot was originally named "Tommy Hawk". However, in 2012, in conjunction with the 125th anniversary of the University, an effort was begun to give the mascot a new and more culturally sensitive name.

  • Location

    The sculpture is located in front of the James B. Chavis University Center off Faculty Row, on the University of North Carolina at Pembroke campus.

  • Landscape

    The sculpture sits in the grass quad area between campus buildings. A paved walkway leads to the boulder which is surrounded by seasonal plantings.

  • Post Dedication Use

    In recent years, the monument has been used as a good luck charm.

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