LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The life-sized copper statue of Tyrannosaurus rex that greets visitors of the University of Wyoming's Geological Museum marks the 50th anniversary of its dedication on Friday and Saturday.
Legendary UW Professor Samuel H. "Doc" Knight built the statue after he retired in 1963. He spent more than 4,000 hours welding the 45-foot-long steel support structure and hand-hammering the copper plates to create the skin texture.
During Knight's 60-year career, he built up UW's Geology Department and led the development of the Geological Museum's collection, which had begun shortly after the university's founding. The current museum building opened in 1956.
The Geological Museum in 2012 underwent a $1 million renovation that maintained its historic features while revamping its layout, reorganizing exhibits and updating its mechanical, electrical, lighting and fire protection systems.