Willie the Wildcat (Northwestern)

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Willie the Wildcat
Williethewildcatnu.jpg
University Northwestern University
Conference Big Ten
Description Anthropomorphic wildcat
First seen 1933

Willie the Wildcat is the mascot for the Northwestern University Wildcats.

History[edit]

The name "Wildcats" was bestowed upon the university in 1924 by a writer for the Chicago Tribune who wrote that even in a loss to the University of Chicago Maroons, the Northwestern football players looked like "Wildcats [that] had come down from Evanston." The name was so popular that university board members made "Wildcats" the official nickname just months later.

Willie, c. 1961

In 1933, the Northwestern athletic department and an advertising firm created the first image of Willie. However, he did not come to life until 1947, when members of the Alpha Delta fraternity dressed up as him during the Homecoming parade.

In 2007, the first football game revealed a new-look Willie after a "makeover".

References[edit]

  • Skjervem, M. & Reck, D. M. (2007). Wildcat Stuff Book for Peer Coordinators. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University.