"From Tragedy to Triumph"

Lewis Balentine
Year Installed: 
Location Detail: 
Lutheran Student Center

Title: "From Tragedy to Triumph"

Sculptor: Lewis Balentine, received Bachelor of Arts degree from UNI in 1995

Location: Lutheran Student Center, corner of College Street and University Avenue

Description: The 15-foot sculpture was constructed out of a variety of metals. The long base was formed from stainless steel to retain its bright coloring. At the top is a modern figure with upreaching arms formed out of Cor-Ten steel, which is intended to rust over time.

Other: The sculpture was made with metal to extend its life. The previous sculpture, "Monument to the Elm," was constructed out of wood. After standing in front of the Lutheran Student Center for twenty years, it had decayed so much that a replacement was needed.

When it was apparent that a new sculpture was needed, a contest was launched to find a replacement. They wanted the new sculpture to show "the meaning of life through the impact of faith," thus "From Tragedy to Triumph" became the title (Waterloo Courier, 10/26/94). The sculptures submitted in the contest had to have a religious theme and focus on the title.


The Lutheran Center Board of Directors chose the new sculpture from a number of entries they received from UNI students. It was very important to have the sculpture created by a student so it would be a part of both UNI and the Center.

Lewis Balentine, who graduated from UNI in 1995, was chosen to have his interpretation of the title replace the old sculpture. He "consciously wanted to make it different" than the previous sculpture (A Guide to Sculptures on Campus, 1996). After working five months on the project the sculpture was installed April 29, 1995, and dedicated May 6, 1995.



Compiled by Jonathan Russell, edited by Susan Basye
Special Collections and University Archives
April 1998