Bear Down Arizona!

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The University of Arizona, my alma mater and first home away from home, first adopted the Wildcat mascot from a 1914 football game with then California champions Occidental College, where the L.A. Times asserted that Arizona “showed the fight of wildcats.”

Arizona’s first mascot was actually a live desert bobcat named “Rufus Arizona”, introduced in 1915 and named after the university’s president at the time, Rufus B. von KleinSmid. Rufus the bobcat was purchased by the freshman football team from army blacksmith F.W. Fawkins, for $9.41. The team presented the bobcat, then called Tom Easter, as a gift to the student body, to whom he was first introduced at an assembly on October 18, 1915.

The Universities modern mascots are anthropomorphized wildcats named Wilbur and Wilma. Their story begins in the late 1950’s when UA students Richard Heller and John Paquette, developed an idea for a costumed human mascot. On November 7, 1959, Wilbur the Wildcat was “born,” making his debut at the UA vs. Texas Tech football game. Wilma Wildcat is Wilbur’s wife, she was introduced in 1986 when a new costume for Wilbur became a female Wildcat midway through construction. (source: Wikipedia)

Parts Used: Chain, Brake Bolts

  • Date: May 31, 2014
  • Filed under: Culture