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Original photo by Yutong Deng
Culture > Entertainment

What’s Up With The Pandas On Campus?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

American University is currently home to three panda statues. One dressed up like William Shakespeare inside of the Battelle-Thompkins building and two outside the Mary Graydon Center. One of these is all black and white and the other one has a color time theme. So what’s the history of these seemingly random panda statues?

In 2004 the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities created “PandaMania” as a fundraiser. Artists received 150 pandas statues and the statues were put on display around DC for about four months. The pandas were later auctioned off to raise money for the arts.

American University is home to three pandas and others can be seen throughout the city. For example, Ben’s Chili Bowl on U-Street has a colorful out front and a peanut butter and jelly themed panda near the Friendship Heights metro station.

Pandas are an important symbol to DC because in 1972 the US was gifted a pair of giant pandas from China after Richard Nixon’s visit. The pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, lived at the National Zoo and died in 1992 and 1999.

Cate Geier

American '26

Cate is a freshman at American University majoring in psychology and minoring in economics. She is passionate about women's rights and environmental justice. Cate is currently part of the print team and the podcast team.