How Moeller Found its Crusader

All great schools have some sort of statue visible on their campus. St. Xavier sports a depiction Saint Xavier, Elder displays their panther, University of Cincinnati has its bearcat, and other universities have statues of their great presidents and coaches.  Here at Moeller, we have the Crusader proudly guarding the front entrance. Many walk by the statue on a daily basis, but many may not know its origins.

When the Brisben Center was being planned and built in 2000, the original idea was to have some type of waterfall between the parking lot and the newly constructed gym. 

Thankfully, the McCullough family, Joe and Charlotte (sons Joe ‘91, Marc ‘96, and Michael ‘02) found the proud Crusader statue that is now displayed in front of the school. In addition to the dedication of sending sons and grandsons to Moeller, the McCullough name may ring a bell. Charlotte McCullough, for whom the Pastoral Ministry Award and a scholarship is named, was a Social Studies teacher at Moeller from 1993 - 1997.

The old Crusader logo  photo by Matt Jackson

The old Crusader logo

photo by Matt Jackson

The McCullough family was in Florida for a baseball tournament. They were driving by a roadside shop that sold statues in Fort Myers and they saw something that caught their eye.  Standing above the rest of the statues on display was the likeness of a shielded, armored knight on a horse.

Joe McCullough ‘91 said, “when I went to Moeller our mascot was similar to Notre Dame’s fighting leprechaun logo, but instead, it was a Crusader”.  The Moeller mascot logo back then was a bit cartoonish, but this statue of the Crusader he saw before him in Florida embodied a prouder idea of what our mascot should be. The McCullough family decided that they wanted to acquire the Crusader for Moeller High School.

The McCullough family contacted Dan Ledford, former Moeller principal, to discuss the possibility of putting the statue in front of the new construction project. The problem was they couldn’t take a picture with their phones and send it to him in 2 minutes. The McCullough’s had to take and develop pictures, since smartphones with cameras didn’t exist yet and then send the photos to Mr. Ledford.  Ledford loved the Crusader statue, and thought it was way better than the waterfall idea.

Crusader Statue photo by Michael Shipp

Crusader Statue photo by Michael Shipp

So, Mr. Ledford went to work, taking the hand-off from the McCullough family to ensure that the Crusader statue found its way to its new home.

The problem was that the Crusader was a huge metal statue in Florida, so getting it to Cincinnati posed to be an issue. Mr. Ledford asked around the Moeller community for some help with the statue’s transport, and of course they stepped up. According to Joe McCullough ‘91, Mr. Ledford found an alumnus that owned a trucking company that was willing to volunteer to pick up the beloved Crusader from the Sunshine State.

After the 2,000 mile round trip to retrieve and deliver the Crusader, it was displayed loud and proud in front of the Brisben Center. Thanks to the McCullough family, Dan Ledford, and the Moeller community, Moeller too has its own trademark statue.

Michael Shipp