Looking Back at Baylor: ‘Hurrah! It’s a BEAR!’

Bob Nelson carries Baylor's mascot on his back, 1940.
Bob Nelson carries Baylor’s mascot on his back, 1940.

This piece by former Texas Collection director Kent Keeth originally was published in The Baylor Line in June 1980, then was reprinted in Looking Back at Baylor (1985), a collection of Keeth and Harry Marsh’s historical columns for the Line. Blogging about Texas periodically features selections from Looking Back at Baylor, with hopes of sharing Keeth’s work with a new audience.

Students and alumni proudly say, “I’m a bear!” when speaking of their time at Baylor. But, had history played out differently, they could have been saying, “I’m a buffalo!” or even “I’m a bookworm!” Neither has the same charm. Today, in honor of National “Hug A Bear Day,” learn more about how the Baylor Bear came to be (Note: we do not recommend trying to hug Joy or Lady!). 

During the first seventy years of Baylor’s existence, the university chose no mascot with which to identify itself. Even when The University of Texas had become known as the “Longhorns,” Rice Institute had adopted the “Owls,” and Texas A&M employed the alternate designations of “Aggies and “Farmers,” Baylor’s intramural teams were known simply by the university’s name. After the selection of the school’s official colors in 1897, the athletes sometimes referred to themselves as the “Green-and-Golders.”Continue Reading

Experience the Tradition: Baylor Homecoming 2012

Homecoming 2012 is upon us! As this post goes up, the Baylor Nation is beginning to flood the Waco campus. Baylor University welcomes everybody home, from the 50th reunion class of 1962 to the class of 2012, for a weekend of nostalgia and fun. Watch the video below for a taste of Homecomings past:

We’ll have Round Up yearbooks available as giveaways during the Homecoming Parade on a first come, first served basis, at the Baylor University Libraries/Department of History tent, located on 5th Street near the side entrance to Carroll Library. Did one of your yearbooks get lost in a move, or maybe you never bought one back in the day? Now’s your chance! The bulk of them are from the 1950s and 1960s, but we’ll be giving away books from the 1940s all the way to 1980.

Please also drop by Carroll Library and The Texas Collection and see a small Homecoming exhibit featuring past Lariats and Round Up yearbooks.  We’ll be open till 5 pm today (November 2) and from 8-12 on Saturday morning during the Homecoming Parade. (We also have some Alamo materials and historic Waco maps on display from other recent projects!) Did you know that an online archives of the Baylor Lariat and the Round Up yearbook is now available?  These rich resources, representing the life of the university throughout its history, will be an invaluable resource for alumni looking to relive the past and for researchers seeking valuable primary resource materials for their inquiries.