Statue of the Cat in the Hat to be dedicated on Peru State campus

Statue of the Cat in the Hat to be dedicated on Peru State campus

Peru, Nebraska – Peru State College will unveil and dedicate a new statue on February 28, 2019, at 11:00 a.m.   The Cat in the Hat statue will be placed in the new Sesquicentennial Plaza in front of the Performing Arts Center.

The event is open to the public.

The bronze statue was donated by long-time faculty member Dr. Daryl Long and his wife, Peggy. Dr. Long taught on the Peru State Campus for fifty years (January 1967 to January 2017) and is now faculty emeritus.

Dr. Dan Hanson, president of Peru State College, said, “Thank you, Daryl and Peggy Long, for your generous gift that honors Peru State’s continuing tradition of engaging students and regional communities.”

The Cat in the Hat statue was enlarged from an original maquette inspired by Dr. Seuss’s character and created by artist Leo Rijn. The statue and maquette are part of the Dr. Seuss Bronze Tribute Collection.

A plaque on the statue will read, “The Performing Arts Center is home to an annual celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America week organized by the Peru Student Education Association. Elementary and preschool students from the surrounding vicinity attend this party. For years, a highlight was the performance of Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham by faculty members Dr. Bill Clemente and Dr. Chet Harper.”

“This sculpture is placed here to delight young readers and to encourage people of all ages to spend more time reading.”

The Longs also donated the “Power of Thought” statue located in the Jindra Fine Arts Building lobby. They commissioned the statue and asked the sculptor, Victor Issa, to include Peru State in its imagery, resulting in the inclusion of the College’s sesquicentennial seal. provides, “Artist Leo Rijn was selected as the inaugural sculptor for [The Bronze Tribute Collection] due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including work with Tim Burton and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art.”

# # #