Fundraising underway for Medway Mustang ProjectMar 01, 2021 09:48AM ● By Theresa Knapp
The “Medway Mustang” will be sculpted in the likeness of this sculpture outside of Mineola (NY) High School. Source: www.mineolaamerican.com.
The $15,000 metal statue will sit in the lobby of Medway High School
Fundraising is now underway to build a massive metal mustang that will stand in the lobby of Medway High School where “mustang pride” runs free.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise approximately $15,000 for the rearing “Medway Mustang,” a custom-made statue expected to be eight to nine feet high as it stands on its hind legs, six to seven feet from back to front, four to five feet wide on its base, and weigh between 400 and 600 pounds including its base. The metal statue will be hand-crafted by an artisan in Texas and, once ordered, will take approximately one month to complete.
The inspiration for the statue was a comment made 40 years ago by retired Medway High School teacher, coach and Athletic Director William Phipps.
“The project was originally proposed by me but the idea was Bill's,” said his wife Karen Modica Phipps. “During the early 1980s, when I took on a coaching position at the Medway High School, I remember Bill talking to me about raising money for a mustang statue. He felt the statue would serve the purpose of fostering MHS pride. He also knew the positive impact it would have regarding high self-esteem, morale, performance and positive school culture and success.”
Phipps says he actually started thinking about a statue 20 years before his comment.
“I have thought about it a lot since the time I joined the Medway school staff in 1966,” said Phipps, who retired from the district in 2003. “I thought about the benefits of a ‘super mascot’ at the school to boost school spirit, pride, and identity of the students and community.”
Phipps says his wife has been working on this project for awhile “and it was quite a surprise to me when I found out about it.”
Modica-Phipps says her husband was “dubbed the ‘Mustang Mentor’ by his students. He encouraged all of his students to involve themselves in various school events and activities because he knew it would bring members of the school community together...encouraging a common bond between fellow students, faculty and staff alike.”
Phipps confirms the moniker with his trademark sense of humor. “The students used to call me ‘The Mustang Mentor’ or just ‘Mentor’ (amongst other things) and it just stuck, I guess.”
During his time at MHS, Phipps also started the school’s golf team and later the lacrosse team. He recalls, during his 15 years as Athletic Director, MHS athletic teams won 14 State Championships in various sports.
Modica-Phipps says her husband deserves this recognition for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to the education profession.
“As a source of inspiration and a constant guiding force, Bill always had a wonderful rapport with people of all ages, especially his students. His amazing ability to connect with his students and his talent for teaching science and biology are both truly superior. Due to his intelligence, encouragement, patience, extraordinary efforts, knowledge of subject, quick wit and incredible sense of humor, Medway students couldn't wait to take his class. A valued and respected teacher and colleague, Bill always raised the bar for all his students.”
Phipps says he is looking forward to seeing the statue in the lobby of Medway High School which he still visits from time to time. He says he looked at many examples of horse sculptures before falling in love with a statue located at Mineola (NY) High School. The “Medway Mustang” will be sculpted in its likeness.
“I think it is beautiful...I think it will be inspiring for students and something they would be proud of for both the academic student and the athlete, we are all one student body,” said Phipps, adding that, after four decades at MHS, “I can assure you my veins bleed true Blue and White.”
The estimated cost of the project is between $10,000 and $15,000. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/medway-mustang-project or mail a check payable to “Medway Mustang Project” to Rockland Trust Bank, 300 East Main Street, Milford, MA 01757.