Developed by SGA students in coordination with Bryan Gentry and B.J. Keefer

Not long after students left for winter break in December 2016, a powerful thunderstorm swept through Central Virginia. At the stroke of midnight, a lightning bolt streaked across the sky and struck the Hornet statue by Shellenberger Field. The sculpture shook and glowed with the impact. The glowing light grew brighter and brighter until a living, breathing, clone of the statue fell to the earth below.

The loud clap of thunder that accompanied the lightning strike woke Elsie the Hornet from her solid slumber in Turner Gymnasium. She tried to get back to sleep, but then she heard the Victory Bell ringing. She rushed outside to investigate and found the new Hornet standing in the bell tower, a firm grip on the bell’s cord.

Elsie remembered the legend that had been repeated to her by a campus chaplain many years ago: “Every time a bell rings, a Hornet gets its wings.” Elsie knew that this sign — the lightning strike, the bell ringing — meant it was time for her to take this new protégé under wing and teach her the ways of a Hornet.


For weeks, Elsie held secret meetings in Wake Field House to teach the new Hornet skills for every sport that her student-athletes compete in. They also met in classrooms and science labs to learn about Lynchburg College history and the academic subjects their students master. As the new Hornet quickly progressed, Elsie knew that she had found a companion and successor who could rally with the Lynchburg College Hornets in athletic competitions for years to come.