RALEIGH - When 7-year-old Pete Wallace met Campbell’s fighting camel mascot Gaylord for the first time, he became an instant fan.
And he became inspired.
A skilled Lego architect in his own right, Pete presented his father - Campbell Fine Arts Professor E. Bert Wallace - a Lego replica of Gaylord, dressed in the University’s signature orange. Upon dad’s suggestion, Pete entered his creation (with an added football field base and goal post background) in the North Carolina State Fair’s “Handicrafts and Hobbies” competition, in the North Carolina-themed model category.
And he won.
Pete’s Gaylord model received the Fair’s blue ribbon in the 9-and-under division, and it’s currently on display through Oct. 23, the final day of the annual 11-day event at the Fairgrounds in Raleigh.
His dad said the idea - and the execution - was all Pete’s.
“He loves talking about Campbell, and he’s very supportive of me,” Bert Wallace said while looking at pictures of the camel and the ribbon with his son on his laptop Wednesday. “And he loves Gaylord … so this was all done purely out of him being inspired after meeting Gaylord at the (campus) Street Fair.”
Pete said he started with the feet and built his way up, using most of his orange Legos in the process (he’d use all of this green ones for the field later). The recipient of a “participant’s ribbon” in the Lego competition a year before, Pete said he didn’t expect to win this time around.
“There were a lot of neat ones there already,” he said, recalling the day they dropped off his entry. “I just hoped I would win.”
Pete says after he graduates from Campbell University sometime between 2026 and 2027, he hopes to move to Billund, Denmark, home of Lego Corp’s world headquarters to … what else? … design Lego toys.
Story: Billy Liggett, Assistant Director for Publications
Photo: Submitted by E. Bert Wallace