Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

An Alumnus, 11 Months and a 1,200 Pound Block of Vermont Basswood

The Marauder: In Wood and Silver

Marauder Pendant5Born in Millersville in 1935, Bob Lehr was raised in an 18th century log cabin. Lehr has always had a strong connection to the town and the university. He attended Millersville University with his wife, Mary, played on the baseball and basketball teams and graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1957. It makes sense that he would spend almost a year carving a Marauder statue for the athletic recruiting office.

Scan10In 2008, Lehr asked then athletic director, Peg Kauffman if she would like a statue of a Marauder to put in the recruiting room, she said yes, so he decided he would carve one for her. He had been carving since the Boy Scouts, but nothing of this magnitude.  He enlisted the help of a former classmate, Dr. Dominick DiNunzio who told him that if he carved it, he would donate the wood. So Lehr did the research and determined that Vermont dried basswood would work best for carving.

DiNunzio purchased and donated a 1,200 pound block of wood for the project and Lehr began plotting his course. He cut, sawed, chiseled and sanded away at the wood for 11-months, losing 20 pounds in the process. What was left when he finished was a 6-foot tall statue mounted on top of a 6-inch deck that weighed 550 pounds. The statue can be found in the athletic recruiting office in Jefferson Hall.

Scan19Lehr has remained involved at MU since he graduated. Lehr has served on the engagement committee of the Alumni Association, greeted alums at the alumni tent during Homecoming, created a treasure hunt event on campus and donated hand-carved Marauder pins as door prizes at events.

Recently, Lehr teamed up with long-time friend, Ronald Finch who owns Finch Jewelers in an effort to raise money for the men’s basketball team. Finch is carving custom silver pendants modeled after the Marauder statue that was carved by, Lehr. The pendant will come in two different sizes, one that is 1 ½” tall by ¾” wide and it will sell for $125 and the other one is ¾” tall by ½” wide and will sell for $62.50. All of the profits from the sale of these pendants will go directly to the men’s basketball team. The pendants can currently be purchased at Finch Jewelers in Lancaster, Pa.


Leave a Reply