Spotlight Image

Photo of Seahawk sculpture. Artist: Joe Orlando. Photo is from Randall Library Digital Collections: Visual Art Community of Wilmington and Southeasters N.C.: A Digital Exhibit.

On July 22, 2003, the UNCW mascot sculpture that had been perched on a rock in front of Warwick Center was reported missing. Fortunately, the bird was found very soon after its disappearance.

The statue, created by Joe Orlando, had been ripped from its base, leaving a pair of osprey talons. Recovery began when a woman--who happened to be a photographer for a local television station--walked outside her apartment in Holton Place off N. Kerr Avenue and found the 75-pound statue on the landing. UNCW officials awarded her with basketball season tickets.

The sculpture returned to its home in front of Warwick Center on September 4, 2003, and remains there today. Metal sculptor Dumay Gorham III restored and re-attached the bird to its granite base. Gorham installed solid bronze posts where the bronze casting meets the feet to prevent the statue from taking flight again.

Dedicated in 2000, the statue had become a good luck charm. Fans would often pet its talons before a basketball game.


"Police Blotter." Star News (Wilmington, NC), July 25, 2003. Page 2B. Retrieved from Lexis-Nexis.

"Seahawk mascot ripped off at UNCW." Star News (Wilmington, NC), July 23, 2003. Page 1B. Retrieved from Lexis-Nexis.

"UNCW mascot recovered." Campus Communique v. 33, no. 3. July 24, 2003. Page 1. Available:

"UNCW sculpture returns to its perch: The bird is back." Star News (Wilmington, NC), September 5, 2003. Page 1B. Retrieved from Lexis-Nexis.