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 '66, OD '67 recently returned it to the Forest Grove Campus.
And even though it is just a small part of the original statue, the tail's return may be the start of original Boxer's 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 (1896). 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 Boxer 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.
Boxer's tail will be on display during Homecoming Weekend (Sept. 28-30) 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 Boxer's 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. Friday, Sept. 28.
Constructed in 1912, Carnegie Hall served as the University's 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.