The wildcat is the official mascot of the University of New Hampshire. During the 2006 Homecoming Weekend, the university unveiled its newest symbol of Wildcat pride; a larger-than-life bronze statue installed on the Main Street side of Memorial Field in front of the Whittemore Center. The sculpture was created by Matthew Gray Palmer, of Friday Harbor, Washington. Chosen by a committee of UNH staff and faculty members, alumni and parents, as well as professional artists, Palmer was among 40 artists who submitted proposals for the project. Palmer, who specializes in large public works of art, hopes his latest 850-pound creation will not only touch people, but be touched by them, literally. "The public work I do gets an artistic expression out where people can touch it, feel the patterns, put their arms around it."