Blaze means business. A sneak peek of the Blaze statue in front of the new UAB Collat School of Business building

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UAB Blaze
Blaze statue and Ken Jackson in front of the UAB Collat School of Business. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Blaze, UAB’s iconic mascot, has found a home in front of the new UAB Collat School of Business building.

Created by artist Branko Medenica, and donated by UAB alum Ken Jackson, the Blaze statue is the centerpiece of Blazer Pride Plaza. The eight foot statue stands on top of a 5 foot granite pedestal, at the entrance of the UAB Collat School of Business, on the corner of University Boulevard and 13th Street South, near the pedestrian bridge that crosses University Boulevard.

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Artist Branko Medenica with the Blaze statue. Photo courtesy of Ken Jackson.

Located across from UAB’s Bartow Arena, the statue and plaza will be a gathering place for students and visitors. The goal of the statue was to capture and re-create UAB’s famous mascot and logo that currently appears on all the hats and uniforms that UAB sports encompasses.

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Blaze statue at the UAB Collat School of Business building. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

“I’m convinced that Blaze is one of the most intimidating and inspirational logos of any college in the country,” said Ken Jackson. “On the side of the granite base, it has the claw of the dragon. People can touch it and feel it. I’m looking forward to beginning a tradition, that over many years it will turn gold, because of all the people touching that claw.”

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Blaze “claw.” Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

On the other side of the granite pedestal is a plaque that says, “BLAZE MEANS BUSINESS.”

Jackson described how they decided on that motto. “During the course of the evaluating, the sculpture ideas submitted by the artists, the Dean of the School of Business, Eric Jack made the comment – Blaze means business. We all said how fitting that was. Obviously, we put that statement on the side of the statue.”

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Plaque on the new Blaze Statue. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now.

Supporting the UAB Collat School of Business with the Blaze statue is also special for Jackson.

“I’ve known the Collat family for generations. Charles Collat is my friend, and I wanted support his generosity to UAB with this statue of Blaze.”

The official ribbon cutting for the new UAB Collat School of Business building will be on Friday August 24 at 10:00am. The facility will include state of the art classrooms, lecture halls, faculty-student breakout rooms, and other amenities that modernize not only what students learn, but the ways in which they learn it.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.