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Peanuts character 'Lucy' statue unveiled at Sonoma State University

The Lucy statue was unveiled in front of The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center library at the Sonoma State campus on March 6. (Photo: Francisco Carbajal)

MICHAEL BARNES,

Sonoma State University unveiled a statue of the “Peanuts” cartoon strip character, Lucy Van Pelt, in front of The Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center library at the Sonoma State campus on March 6.

The 5-foot statue is dressed in the light and dark blue hues of Sonoma State and includes an engraving which reads, “When it comes to learning, the sky is the limit.”

When Dr. Sakaki learned that various “Peanuts” statues were located in the local communities, she mentioned to a Sonoma State Foundation Board member that she’d like to see a statue outside the SSU library, which is named the Jean and Charles Schulz Information Center.

She asked the board member to be on the lookout for a character that might become available. Within a few weeks she got a call that Lucy was available. Lisa Clyde of the Schulz family obtained the statue and donated it to SSU. Restoration was made possible by the Jean and Charles Schulz endowment.

“Sonoma State has a very special relationship with the Peanuts characters and the Schulz Family," Dr. Sakaki said. "They have certainly helped Sonoma State grow and improve.”

Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz, attended the unveiling of the statue, along with SSU President Judy K. Sakaki and Library Dean Karen Schneider.

“I lobbied hard to have it in front of the library,” Schneider said. “Our library needs a little more touch of whimsy and I love the idea that we have a very whimsical character welcoming people to the library.”

The statue had a previous life in front of a Santa Rosa hair salon before eroding away in storage. SSU President Dr. Judy Sakaki was instrumental in securing the donation for the statue that needed to be stripped down to its fiberglass and restored.

Local artist Mary Vaughan restored and “dressed” the smiling Lucy statue.

“It shows Dr. Sakai’s engagement to the community to make this happen,” Schneider said.

The SSU library paid for the restoration of Lucy with the Jean and Charles Schulz fund. Mrs. Schulz even donated a “Peanuts” sheet to conceal the statue before unveiling Lucy to a cheering crowd of students, faculty and community members.

The statue serves as a way to liven-up the campus and strengthen the university’s ties to the local community. The school features several other “Peanuts” character statues that make for great “way finding” around campus.

Lucy is already something of a fan favorite on campus, attracting visitors of all kinds to take a selfie with the statue.

“We’re seeing a constant stream of people stopping to take selfies. She’s approachable, which is a little unusual for Lucy because she’s a tiny bit crabby,” Schneider said.

The popularity of the statue might embolden Schneider to being knocking on doors around Sonoma County to inquire whether or not local business would be willing to part ways with their “Peanuts” character statues.