Northridge Athletics Celebrate Unveiling of Matador Statue

Northridge, Calif. – Several hundred Matador student-athletes joined their fellow students, alumni, faculty-staff and friends of Cal State Northridge for the unveiling of a new campus icon – the Matador Statue on Thursday afternoon.

The ceremony took place in Matador Plaza, between the Oviatt Library and the University Student Union.

“The Matador Statue captures the courage, grace and the impact of the University,” stated University President Dr. Jolene Koester. “This is a tremendous gift to the entire university and the Northridge community.”

Jon Hair, an award-winning sculptor, designed and produced the statue that was a 20-year vision that was brought to life. In addition to funds donated by CSUN students, a fundraising campaign was led by alumni Chad Charton and Marcelo Vazquez.

No state funds were used for the project. 
 
Standing nearby the unveiling of the Matador statue were several hundred Matador student-athletes who were acknowledged by Dr. Koester for their enthusiasm and loyalty to the University. 

Following the unveiling, alumni and guests were invited to join the campus community on the Oviatt Lawn for the annual Freshman Convocation. Dr. Koester presided over the convocation to welcome this year’s freshman class to Cal State Northridge. Despite the intense heat of the day, the Matador student-athletes actively joined with numerous CSUN dignitaries to welcome the new students and wish them good fortune in the years ahead. Food and refreshments were served. 

“The convocation signals to the incoming class that they are a part of a brand new community, and it’s a brand new experience for first-generation students who may not have had a real introduction to higher education,” said William Watkins, Vice-President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “It’s a way for us to transmit our highest hopes, desires and dreams for them to be successful students, and to achieve in accordance with the goals that they have set for themselves.”

Only a week earlier, the University celebrated the President’s Picnic on the Bayramian Hall Lawn on the west side of the campus. Several hundred CSUN student-athletes, coaches, university faculty, staff (including President Koester) and volunteers served refreshments and food to the students during the picnic. The picnic allowed students, faculty and staff to interact on a more informal basis than they usually do during the school year.