The history of Wellington the Wildcat


Bryce Weedman, Staff Reporter

The history of Wellington the Wildcat

We all know that if you are a CWU student or alumni, you are a Wildcat, and we hold that pride of being a Wildcat with us for our entire lives. Most of us have been to a sporting event at CWU, or any kind of CWU event for that matter, whether it be a pep rally in Nicholson Pavilion or when we show up as  freshmen on Wildcat Welcome Weekend. All of these events are different in some ways, and what makes them similar is that Wellington the Wildcat is there with energy and enthusiasm. ost of us know who Wellington the Wildcat is, and there is a lot of history about Wellington. Wellington is our illustrious mascot, According to CWU’s website, Wellington came to be our mascot’s name in 1981 when the university store put on a contest to name the school’s mascot. Meg Chadwick, a student at CWU in 1981, won the contest with the name of Wellington.

“I think that the name Wellington just fits the Wildcat mascot so well,” Taylor Stowell, alumni of CWU, said. “Wellington the Wildcat is one of the best parts of football games.”

There are actually two Wellington Wildcats hired every academic year to wear the suit.

One of the most notable traditions of Wellington is something you most likely have heard of or even attended. The tradition is a homecoming bonfire called Wellington’s Wildfire, which happens in October at the Challenge Course on Alder street. All students, faculty and family are welcome to attend.

“I remember my freshman year going to Wellington’s Wildfire. It was so fun and it gave all of us freshmen a chance to meet our classmates,” Ian Harmon, CWU alumnus, said.

CWU’s website says that one of the easiest ways to know you are truly a Wildcat is whether you have high-fived Wellington himself. If you see him around campus, you’ll most likely see him with his paw up, interacting with everyone, always looking to give that popular Wellington high-five.

“I think I high-fived Wellington over 500 times in my years at CWU. It seemed like Wellington was everywhere and always had his fury paw in the air waiting for that famous high-five,” Allison Tresk, 2008 CWU graduate, said.

If you see Wellington the Wildcat around campus, don’t be shy, go up and give that cat a high-five because Wellington’s looking forward to it!


The history of CWU logos

According to CWU’s website, CWU became the Washington State Normal School in 1891. It adopted the Wildcat mascot in in 1926. The school’s mascot in sports before 1926 was actually the Normalities.

“I was actually shocked and found it a bit humorous that the school used to be the Normalities, because there is absolutely nothing intimidating about that name,” Bryan Bickswerth, CWU alumnus, said.

CWU sported many different Wildcat logos from 1926 all the way through 2010, but in 2011 the school decided it was time for some rebranding. The design of the current Wildcat logo is actually a production of a class project by Jeremy Higuchi, a graduate of CWU. The design was brought to the CWU Public Affairs office, and people really liked it.

Over the course of eight months, the Wildcat logo was tweaked in small ways to make it fit the idea of what CWU wanted as their new image. The mascot head was only used for athletic purposes before 2011, but when the new logo was unveiled, they decided to free the logo to the whole school so that anyone could use it on campus.

“I thought the new logo was a lot better than the previous,” Mich Fieldman, a 2014 graduate, said. “It seemed more exciting and fierce.”

CWU’s website says that the goal of the rebranding in 2011 was to create a more consistent brand identity for CWU. Most universities rebrand their logos every five to 10 years, and CWU had not rebranded in almost twenty years, so it was time for a face lift.

“The new logos that we currently have feel more like a big school logo. They make me feel like I go to a Division I school,” Michael Sineck, 2017 graduate, said.