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February 11, 2017
The White Memorial Fountain in Stanford is a 16-foot (4.9 m) tall, welded bronze and copper structure created by Massachusetts-born artist Aristides Burton Demetrios. He created the fountain in his San Francisco studio, and spent a month installing it on campus in the spring of 1964.
Located between the Stanford Bookstore and Old Union, the 65-jet fountain a.k.a. “The Claw” and “MemClaw” stands right in the center of a plaza. It has 20 access doors for plumbing works, and displays a blue-green patina.
It is the site of Stanford’s Big Game tradition called the Bearial. This is a funeral ceremony for the Cal bear mascot Oski, during which the Stanford Band impales the bear on “The Claw.”
The White Memorial Fountain was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond B. White to pay tribute to their sons William and John, both Stanford students in the Class of ’49. Both died in separate accidents before they graduated.