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The MSU Beaver Statue is Revealed!

by Amy Iler

(The audio attached is from 9-17-2013, while Joel Heitkamp was broadcasting from Minot State University - the first mention of "the rock under the blue tarp")


MINOT, N.D. - Minot State University unveiled its beaver statue Sept. 24 in honor of the university’s Centennial Celebration and first day of class, nearly 100 years ago.

The statue, located east of the MSU Dome on 11th Avenue, is composed of rebar (reinforcing bar/steel) and sits atop an erratic glacial, donated by Gravel Products. It was funded by the MSU Alumni Association. 

Belcourt artist Bennett Brien created the sculpture and incorporated curving lines to give it a feel of motion and power.  In his research, Brien took photos of real beavers and measured a stuffed beaver at the Turtle Mountain Heritage Center in Belcourt, doubling its size for his sculpture.

Brien said the beaver works hard, much like MSU students, and the stick it holds is a symbol of the tools beavers use to achieve their goals.

“If I were to name this, I would call it ‘Life’s Journeys,’” he said.

The MSU Beaver is Brien’s 11th rebar statue. Other sculptures are located throughout the state, including the State Capitol grounds in Bismarck, in Grand Forks, Belcourt and along the Scenic Byway in the Turtle Mountains.

“It was an honor for me to create this for Minot State,” he said. “I hope I am around to do one for the 200th Anniversary.”