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Baylor Alumnus Greg Plett—A Modern Day Seaside Michelangelo

By Catherine West

For Greg Plett ’86, a day at the beach involves more than tanning and swimming — it involves an artistic masterpiece. To keep himself busy while his kids play in the ocean, this computer science major from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, spends his time creating elaborate sand sculptures. Taking between four and five hours to create, the sculptures range from churches and lighthouses to sea monsters and castles. But Plett’s castles are not the average shovel and pail creation — they include elaborate details likes a moat, tower and dungeon. His creations might even involve a Baylor Bear or two.

Plett begins his sand creations by plopping himself down by the edge of the water to form a giant pile of wet sand. Just as Michelangelo carved the David, Plett carves away from the large pile of sand to form his sculpture. After numerous summer vacations to Destin, Florida, and years of sand sculpting, he no longer needs to look online for inspiration.

“Now I just have an idea in my head of what it is going to look like,” Plett said. He even knows which sand contains the right amount of clay to hold his sculptures together.

Not only do the sand castles entertain Plett, but they also catch the attention of those around him. “Anyone can make a sand castle,” he said. “I like the stuff that is more nontraditional. People tend to enjoy those more.”

This summer, Plett created something special to show his Baylor pride. After dropping his son off at Line Camp, for incoming Baylor freshmen, Plett and his wife headed to Destin, where he created a Baylor-inspired sand sculpture. Complete with a giant bear head, the sculpture featured the words “The Year of the Bear” carved out of the sand. The nontraditional sculpture caught the eye of another Baylor grad at the beach, who “went and changed into a Baylor T-shirt to take a picture with it,” Plett said. The success in Baylor sports during the last season provided Plett with the main inspiration for this sculpture.

Plett is looking forward to his son becoming the third-generation Bear in his family and said that despite the family history, there was no pressure placed on Jake to attend Baylor. But he’s happy with his son’s decision. “Baylor is a great place to be.  It is where the Lord wants him to be,” Plett said.

He also joked, “Jake going to school at Baylor gives me an excuse to get season tickets.” Hopefully, this season will provide even more inspiration for this Baylor fan’s next beach adventure.

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