The latest chapter in a decades-old mystery of what happened to the original Pacific University Boxer has been written.
More than 45 years after he inconspicuously left Pacific with a piece of the famed bronze figurine, alumnus Don Metzger (Class of 1966, O.D. 67) recently returned it to the Forest Grove campus.
And even though it is just a small part of the original statue, the tails return may be the start of the original Boxers complete homecoming and restoration.
The figurine became part of Pacific University lore in 1881, when alumnus Rev. J.E. Walker brought it back to Forest Grove from a missionary trip in China as a gift to his mother. She regifted it to the university 15 years later. Rev. Walker likely had no idea what his gift would mean to his alma mater.
Soon after, students groups or individuals began a long tradition of taking unauthorized possession of the Boxer statue from one another, sometimes by force.
Legend has it that the Pacific Index student newspaper named the figurine Boxer in 1908 in support of the Chinese Boxer Rebellion uprising against the 264-year-old Qing Dynasty.
Boxers tail will be on display during the upcoming homecoming weekend for both private groups and the general public.
Class of 1962 alumni attending their 50-year reunion luncheon on Friday, Sept. 28 will get a close-up view of the Boxers tail, which will then proceed with the group to the Golden Guard sidewalk signing ceremony.
The public will also be able to view the tail at a centennial anniversary celebration of Carnegie Hall set for 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28.
Constructed in 1912, Carnegie Hall served as the Universitys library and currently houses the College of Arts & Sciences Psychology Department.
Football fans will have a chance to see the tail during the Boxers football game against Whitworth on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The tail will be on display in the Boxer Club tent on the concourse outside Lincoln Park Stadium. Tent admission is free. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.