A sculpture of Pyle was erected Thursday morning near Franklin Hall, the home of the soon-to-be inaugurated Media School.
The Media School, a combined unit consisting of journalism, telecommunications and communication and culture departments in the College of Arts and Sciences, will be inaugurated 2 p.m. Friday. Pyle’s statue will also be formally ?dedicated.
The Media School came into existence budgetarily earlier this year on July 1.
With gray skies Thursday, the rain was holding off as the truck carrying the sculpture parked in front of the pathway to the Sample Gates.
Harold “Tuck” Langland, who produced the work, is also the artist behind the Herman B Wells sculpture on campus.
Langland waited along Indiana Avenue in front of the Sample Gates as his bronze Pyle sculpture arrived on site. The sculpture itself is based off photos of him reporting from the trenches during the war.
In the sculpture, Pyle sits at his table in front of his typewriter with a mug nearby.
The wood of the table seems warped, and if one looks closely, they can see spots on the edge of the table where it seems to be burned by cigarettes.
Langland said that with the other seat at the table, students could sit across from the war correspondent with a laptop computer.
He sat on the box to make sure it was the right distance away from the table, then gave it up so that other people could have a seat across from the famed journalist.
The sculpture was announced when the IU Board of Trustees convened during its Feb. 13 meeting in ?Indianapolis.
“We’ve listened to students, alumni and faculty about the significance of honoring Ernie Pyle,” said Lesa Hatley Major, associate dean of the Media School in a release earlier this year. “This sculpture is a tangible way of honoring his legacy. It is one of several initiatives we are working on to preserve his ideals, his work and his continuing influence in the lives of our ?students.”
Pyle, who was killed from sniper fire while reporting from the Pacific war zone in 1945, wrote his columns from the soldiers’ viewpoint.
He immersed himself in his reporting, living among the men he wrote about.
The sculpture will be officially dedicated Oct. 17 during Homecoming weekend. IU President Michael McRobbie will preside at the ceremony.
“It’s significant that the sculpture will sit at the Sample Gates, the entrance to campus,” Major said in the release. “It’s a prominent and fitting setting for one of the most important figures in American journalism.”
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