A passion of the KU Memorial Union

Iconic Sculptor

The University of Kansas community is remembering professor and sculptor Elden Tefft, who left an indelible mark on the university’s culture.

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Tefft was professor emeritus of art and the artist behind two of the Lawrence campus’ signature sculptures: “Academic Jay,” perched outside Strong Hall; and “Moses,” outside Smith Hall, where it faces a stained-glass window of a burning bush. Moses and the burning bush play prominently in the university’s seal. Tefft, 95, died in Feb. 17, 2015, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. “I join the KU community in mourning the loss of Elden Tefft and in offering sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues, as well as alumni who remember the talents he shared with them in the classroom,” said Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. “Elden’s pieces are such an integral part of Mount Oread — pieces such as ‘Moses’ and ‘Academic Jay’ — that it’s nearly impossible to imagine our campus without them. The university is privileged to be a home for these iconic works and to have had Elden as part of our Jayhawk community.”

Photo: "Moses," by Elden Tefft. Photo: KU Marketing Communications. Source: KU Marketing Communications


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