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December 8, 2000
Volume 38, No. 8


Achieving Marital Utopia
America's poet of comrades: Walt Whitman in China
Pharmacy emphasizes people skills with patient counseling tourney
Herky proves a light-headed mascot
InSite: Hardin Meta Directory keeps winning prizes

news and briefs

News Briefs
Human Rights Week 2001 events include lectures, films, convocation
Speech specialist, musician to give Presidential Lecture
Affirmative Action says Iowa better than reported
Longevity Awards presented for December


Bulletin Board

Offices and Awards

Ph.D. Thesis Defenses
Pubs. and Creations
Committee seeks input from UI during Office of the Provost review
Fund-raising dinner benefits women's organizations
Public Safety joins holiday campaign
Nominations sought for disability achievement award

other links

TIAA Cref Unit Values

Staff Development Courses

The University of Iowa Homepage

Herky proves a light-headed mascot

Herky the Hawk in his papier-mâché incarnation in this 1980 file photo.

We stand corrected.

A photo caption in the Nov. 17 fyi incorrectly identified Iowa’s football mascot as a "papier-mâché-noggined raptor." In fact, the last time Herky sported a head made of papier-mâché was 1988. Since then the Iowa mascot has been crowned with a lighter-weight pate made of fiberglass. Thanks for spotting the wrong-headed caption go to Frank Turner, chemistry lab machinist. Turner ought to know. He made the fiberglass heads himself.

"I was self-employed in 1988 when I built these things," Turner said. "I was contacted by the athletic department to make them. I do a lot of work with fiberglass, and I’m a plastics molder by trade. The original heads were papier-mâché and plaster, and they weighed around 16 or 18 pounds. Of course, the students would put on a football helmet underneath it and pack towels around their shoulders.

"I took the old heads and reproduced them out of fiberglass. That got it down to about six pounds. It has an adjustable football helmet inside it so just about anybody can wear it. It also has a battery-powered electric fan for warm days. I also made a smaller head for wrestling and basketball."

  Herky the Hawk in his current fiberglass version in a phot taken in 1999. Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

If a giant fiberglass Herky head is on your holiday gift list this year, don’t get your hopes up. The heads are licensed, and Turner had to turn over his molds to the University after he finished his work. They’re now property of the athletic department.

Those wishing to get a glimpse of Turner’s handiwork needn’t wait until the next sporting event. Just take a ride to the Syrian Mosque on 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids. The onion dome that has topped the building since 1972 is another of Turner’s fiberglass creations.

But does it have a fan in it?


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