A tiger carved from China's highest quality jade stands in Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union on a marble table designed by University President Edward H. Hammond.
The tiger was a present to Dr. Hammond.
The gift, from an anonymous donor on the graduation trip to China in May 2008, was in honor of eight years of FHSU's successful Sino-American educational partnerships in China.
In China, jade represents beauty, grace and purity. The tiger symbolizes dignity, ferocity, sternness, courage and protection.
However, on the tiger's trip to FHSU, the tongue that stretched out of its mouth was broken. When the tiger arrived, a craftsman shaved off the remainder of the tongue. The artist in China was so alarmed that this happened, he sent a second tiger to FHSU.
When the second tiger arrives, it will be placed in the Robbins Center, home to the Alumni Association and FHSU Foundation. "Having two tigers is appropriate for FHSU," says Hammond. "We are a powerhouse in China, and the tigers are a symbol of this. Now we have two tigers to protect us."