Over seventy colleges in the US have an eagle as their official mascot. Other popular mascots include Tigers, Bulldogs, and Bears. But if you go to one of these schools, you can be sure that your school’s mascot will always stand out among the crowd.
10. Williams College – Purple Cow
The choice of a cow is unusual in and of itself, but the choice of a purple cow seems even more strange. The cow has its origins in a game with Harvard over a century ago, and is named Ephelia for the school’s founder Ephraim Williams.
9. UC Irvine – Peter the Anteater
The Anteater has been UCI’s mascot since 1965, and students would cheer on sports teams by shouting “zot,” which is intended to sound like the noise anteaters make. UCI has embraced their mascot, and today students can pick up coffee at Zot-N-Go or check their grades at Zot Link.
8. Whittier College – John Poet
Whittier College takes their name from poet John Greenleaf Whittier, so it’s fitting that the students call themselves “the Poets.” Poetry is even mentioned in their motto, alongside virtues like Truth and Peace.
7. Wake Forest University – Demon Deacon
Wake Forest University holds competitions to choose the next Demon Deacon, and the competition is highly intense. The chosen student (in full costume, of course) rides a motorcycle onto the field at the beginning of every football game.
6. Evergreen State – Speedy the Geoduck
Despite the name, a geoduck is neither a duck nor a geode. In fact, it’s a large burrowing clam native to the Pacific Northwest, and is pronounced goo-ee-duck. Evergreen students wanted something to contrast with the aggressive mascots of other schools, and chose an animal that represented both their flexibility and stability.
5. St. Louis College of Pharmacy – Eutectic
“Eutectic” is actually the process of two solids being combined to form a liquid, which seems a perfect metaphor for a pharmacy school. The Eutectic is represented by “Morty McPestle,” the large yellow mascot pictured above.
4. Delta State University – The Fighting Okra
Though Delta students are officially known as “Statesman,” several members of the school’s basketball team came up with the “tougher” mascot of the Okra. Thirty years later, the mascot enjoys widespread popularity. To celebrate their offbeat mascot, DSU students have taken pictures of the okra in unusual places, like at Machu Picchu (seen above).
3. New College of Florida – [ ]
New College of Florida originally used [ ] (which is known as an empty set) as a stand-in while the school chose a new mascot, but eventually the students adopted the [ ] as the school’s new mascot. The student newspaper is called “Filling the Empty Set.”
2. UC Santa Cruz – Sammy the Banana Slug
The Banana Slugs began as the unofficial mascot of UC Santa Cruz, but students overwhelmingly voted to declare it as the official mascot in 1980. Though the administrators wanted the more dignified sea lion to represent the school, the banana slugs finally won out in 1986.
1. Stanford University – The Stanford Tree
The Stanford tree is the official mascot of the Stanford Band and the unofficial mascot of the university. The costume is redesigned from scratch every fall, and has been stolen by rival schools on several occasions.