An American bulldog named Semper Victorious (Vicky) was UMD’s first named mascot. She made appearances at Homecoming and sporting events. The UMD Student Association paid for Vicky’s food and other expenses as she was shuffled between several owners, including the Beta Phi Kappa fraternity. Mr. and Mrs. Lynd Hammel finally purchased Vicky as a present for their daughter Susie in 1965.
The Barkers’ Club (a school spirit organization) sponsored the contest to name the mascot in 1961, but it is unclear if Semper Victorious was the name selected in that contest or if the Beta Phi Kappa fraternity chose that name.
A contest entry form in the November 3, 1961, UMD Statesman.
This article about Vicky appeared in the November 30, 1962 UMD Statesman.
A cartoon Vicky greeted freshmen in Trailways, the new student handbook, from 1961 to 1967.
Other live bulldogs have occasionally made appearances at campus functions.
A live bulldog rode on this 1951 parade float. Photo by Ken Moran.
Provost Raymond Darland and his wife admire a bulldog held by Mike Hamilton. This photo appeared in the November 2, 1967, UMD Statesman.
Homecoming Queen Peggy Haley bonds with a bulldog. This photo appeared in the 1968 Chronicle.
Winston, an English Bulldog, watches a women’s basketball game. He belonged to team member Suzanne Peterson. Photo by Tina Sorckie; published in the February 4, 1988, UMD Statesman.
The mascot was called Killer by the 1990s, but some people thought that name was too violent. The Athletic Department sponsored a contest to rename the mascot. Students and faculty could enter to win a $25 gift certificate to any UMD store.
This ad appeared in the October 15, 1992, UMD Statesman.
Physical Education Majors and Minors (PEMM) Club members on their Homecoming parade float. From left to right: Killer, Derek Cooper, Michael McCabe, Mike Radant (top), Patty Kneefe, and Steve Chapin. Photo by Amy Ackerman; published in the October 7, 1993, Statesman.
The Maroon Loon (Brian Haedrich) and Champ (Jamey Mills) pose with UMD cheerleaders circa 1997.
Out of the four people who submitted the name Champ, Brandon Michael was selected at random to win the gift card. The new name was announced at a UMD-Wisconsin hockey game on January 24, 1997. Despite backlash from some students over perceived political correctness gone amuck, the better name led to better visibility and an improved image for children. The name change came at a time when athletics at UMD were experiencing rebranding and a new website.
Prior to the 1970s, the university lacked a consistent logo for athletics and other promotional materials. Bulldogs that appeared in the Statesman, the Chronicle, and other publications were generally custom drawings that were only seldom used again. UMD’s first official bulldog logo was introduced during the 1969-1970 school year. The new logo was a bulldog head that was often given a body for football, hockey, and basketball.
These bulldogs appeared on season ticket advertisements in 1991. The forward-facing bulldog was popular from the mid-1970s to the early-1990s.
Jesse Bodell updated the bulldog logo to its current design in 1998.