The new bronze statue standing in the oval gardens of the shared campus of Chaminade University, Marianist Center of Hawaii, and Saint Louis School, 3140 Waialae Avenue, is that of the Marianist (Society of Mary) founder, Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.  According to Bro. Robert Hoppe, vice president of Marianist Center of Hawaii, the statue is 10 foot 2inches and on a 2 foot pedestal, making for a 12 foot 2 inch total from bottom to top (we’re calling it more than 12 feet high).  Weighing in at 3,000 pounds, the statue was created by Joe Aspell, renowned sculptor and former Marianist brother.  The statue arrived on campus on Friday, November 16, and mounted that same day. Lights were later installed for evening viewing.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2013, from 9 to 10 a.m., Chaminade University and Saint Louis School will hold a dedication event. Rev. George J. Cerniglia, S.M., (Father George), rector for Chaminade University, has worked with the leadership of Saint Louis School to have a joint mass honoring Blessed Father Chaminade, followed by a blessing of the statue. The event is part of the joint-campuses celebration of Founders’ Week.

The bronze statue stands in a prominent place, visible at the university’s main entry way (Waialae Avenue), and acts as a concrete reminder of the Marianist mission and identity, an apt image for students who want to make an impact on the world.

Designed to capture a pivotal moment in Chaminade’s life as he returned to France from Saragossa, the statue depicts the founder on the verge of possibilities and invites the visitor to enter into collaboration with the Marianist visionary.  The statue is of a young visionary in his late 30s, early 40s, about to build an organization of both and lay and religious order members, as a way to restore the Catholic faith to France after the French revolution.

Currently, smaller versions of the statue have been installed at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and at the Marianist Provincial Office in St. Louis, Missouri. One of similar size also stands on the campus of University of Dayton (UD), in Ohio.  St. Mary’s, UD and Chaminade are Marianist sponsored universities.

It was a long trek to get the statue to Honolulu:

Created by Joseph Aspell in San Francisco, the sculpture was completed at the Art Foundry in Sacramento, transported to Oakland, and then shipped to Honolulu.  Horizon Lines graciously provided ocean transportation of the crated bronze sculpture from the Port of Oakland to Honolulu as a donation.

The statue was commissioned to honor the 250th anniversary of Chaminade’s birth. Chaminade, a French priest, escaped to Spain during the Revolution after refusing to take the Oath of fidelity all clergy were ordered to swear.  When he returned to Bordeaux, he brought together an eclectic group of merchants, priests, teachers, chimney sweeps, former soldiers and others from all walks of life who drew their inspiration from Mary and believed strongly in service to youth and the poor.  They became the Society of Mary, or Marianists.  The statue depicts Father Chaminade as a young man returning to France from his exile in Spain.  He is shown on the move, about to begin his mission. The book in his arm is a symbol of the Marianist quest for knowledge through faith and reason.

William F. Anonsen, managing partner and principal with The-Maritime Group, LLC/ AMERGENT TECHS, LLC, majorly assisted in the transporting process and partnering with Horizon Lines.

Educating students for life, service and successful careers, Chaminade University is a Catholic/ Marianist university offering programs of study grounded in the liberal arts with day, evening, online and accelerated courses. A Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander serving institution, Chaminade is located at 3140 Waialae Ave., Honolulu, HI 9681, which is its main campus. It also has nine satellite locations around Oahu. Chaminade University is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and looks forward to increased opportunities to promote environmental sustainability. For more information, visit the Chaminade Web site at or call (808) 735-4711.###


Media Contact: Kapono Ryan
(808) 735-4797