Early in the 1988-89 school year, the student government vice president, Eric Senna, proposed that RIT have a life-size tiger statue as a symbol of school spirt. Eric located Dr. D.H.S. “Duff" Wehle, who was establishing a career as a wildlife sculptor . Impressed by the student enthusiasm for the idea, and wanting to expand his reputation as a sculptor, he agreed to do the project at a deeply discounted price. Coincidentally, “Duff” was a member of the Wehle family of the Genesee Brewing Co. and brother of RIT trustee, Ted Wehle. Fundraising efforts included the sale of “tiger stock” and 20 “limited edition” macquetts (small replicas) of the statue. The Wehle Foundation generously funded the site on which the statue is placed. Dedication of the statue took place on November 10, 1989, coinciding with a meeting of the RIT Board of Trustees . A large enthusiastic crowd cheered the new mascot. The tiger statue inspired the establishment of “The Tiger Fund,” an endowment whose funds would be used to support student school spirit activities.