Faith, Reason, and Ravens:
Ravens Will Rise Statue Sets John Paul’s Words in Bronze

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

President Minnis with Ravens Will Rise sculptor Tim Mispagel.

“Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth,” said the late St. Pope John Paul II. The quote inspired Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis to commission a new work of art by Tim Mispagel ’94.

The Ravens Will Rise statue resides in the entrance pavilion of Westerman Hall, flanked by images on the walls of some of the giants of Benedictine faith and scholarship, such as Fr. Eugene Dehner, OSB ’37, Fr. Felix Nolte, OSB ’02, and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Maathai, PhD ’64.

“Steve Minnis called me a on a weekend around a year ago,” said Tim. “He’d been looking at the St. Benedict statue that I’d sculpted, in front of the Haverty Center. He was particularly struck by the Raven at Benedict’s feet. He said to me, ‘Timmy, could you do something like this?’”

What he had was a vision of a raven, wings spread, rising up, about to take flight.

Ravens Will Rise Sculpture in Westerman Hall Entrance

“It would need to illustrate this quote from John Paul II,” said President Minnis. “I just thought it fit nicely with the concept of the building — rising with faith and reason.”

That’s really what Benedictine College is all about — the marrying of faith and reason within this community of faith and scholarship. Empowering Ravens to rise up in an unbelieving world with the message of the Gospel, fortified through exploration of the arts, sciences and all aspects of a liberal arts education.

Tim’s Benedictine College experience is a stand-out example of an integrated liberal arts education. He came to Benedictine from Englewood, Colorado, on a baseball scholarship. It was here, through an exchange partnership between Benedictine and the Kansas City Art Institute, that Tim was able to begin to hone his expertise as an artist.

Today, Tim continues that combination in his professional and personal life, and adds a little science, to boot. He teaches sculpture, drawing and AP studio art at DeSoto High School — but also teaches emerging technologies, such as 3D printing and other techniques. He still finds time to coach his son’s baseball team.

More Tim Mispagel projects are under consideration for campus improvement, so stay tuned and be ready to get involved if you see an opportunity to help bring more beautiful art to life. And be sure to see more of Tim’s art at