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Washington University's New Mascot


gif of new mascot

New Bear Reflects W.U.'s Own Athletic Identity

(Washington University Magazine and Alumni News, Fall 1995)

The 40-year-old athletic logo -- the scowling bear in the sailor's cap -- has been retired. Replacing it is a new, stronger, more bear-like image that is the culmination of four years of effort by a committee of alumni, students (both athletes and non-athletes), faculty, and staff. The new logo, which is being trademarked, features a partial profile of a bear head with the words Washington Bears as a backdrop. The bear head by itself and a full-bodied bear also are official athletic logos.

The design concept came from Warren Pottinger, B.F.A. '93, who, as a student made sketches that he refined on the computer using feedback from the committee. Stacey Harris, B.F.A. '88, made further refinements.

"The project was a labor of love for Warren," says committee chair Justin Carroll, Dean of Student Affairs. "With the old bear, that Washington U. tie-in didn't exist."

Another problem with the outgoing version was that it was based on logos of other college that share the nickname, and it too closely resembled the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's symbol, right down to the frown and the cap.

"Washington U. is strong enough in its own right to develop and create its own identity," said John Schael, Director of Athletics since 1978. "Although we all have fond ties with the old bear, it was the right time to introduce a new character."

"As a former student-athlete, I am fond of the old logo," says Mitch Margo, president of the University' W Club. "But with the modern renaissance of Washington U. athletics, it was time we came up with this new identity."

(Note: The new bear has been painted on the floor of the Field House, opposite the University Athletic Association logo.)

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