Elon University Phoenix

The sculpture features a bronze phoenix rising from a concrete column of fire. Walker said he researched the mythology behind the phoenix and viewed countless renditions while designing his interpretation of the creature that serves as Elon's mascot. Walker said he wanted the sculpture to be "intense but not aggressive," and he shied away from cartoonish interpretations of the phoenix. "I wanted it to be believable as a bird," Walker said.

The concrete base that resembles a twist of flames weighed in at more than 3,400 pounds. The interior of the bronze phoenix, which weighs about 900 pounds, was extensively engineered to ensure that the sculpture is sturdy. Once assembled, the sculpture is about 12-feet tall, with the phoenix boasting a 10-foot wing span.