Brown Official Mascot

December 29, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Brown Official Mascot

Being a mascot is mostly about showing school spirit, and this is true not only for the person who dons the costume but also for the audience members who watch them perform their duties. Mascots are intended to be symbolic representations of the student body and faculty. As a result of this, the mascot is an excellent choice for portraying academic institutions such as colleges and universities. We are going to discover more about Bruno The Bear, Brown official mascot, as well as the numerous ways in which it has contributed to develop Brown’s strong sports culture over the course of the years.

Why is Brown University mascot a bear?

Why does Brown University have a bear as its mascot? Theodore Francis Green 1887, a member of the building committee for Rockefeller Hall, is credited with being the first person to place the head of a real Brown bear atop the arch that served as the centerpiece of the trophy room in time for the opening of the new student union in January 1904.

a bear, the inspiration behind Brown's official mascot

This event is considered to be the beginning of Brown University‘s tradition of using the Bear as its mascot.

Green and the other Brown guys had expressed a need for a clear emblem to represent their group. The following is how he explained the selection of the bear:

“While it may be somewhat unsociable and uncouth, it is good-natured and clean. While courageous and ready to fight, it does not look for trouble for its own sake, nor is it bloodthirsty. It is not one of a herd but acts independently. It is intelligent and capable of being educated. It is a good swimmer and a good digger, like an athlete who makes Phi Beta Kappa. Furthermore, its color is brown; and its name is Brown.”

How did Bruno the Bear start as Brown official mascot?

How did Bruno the Bear become the official mascot of Brown University? Brown was doing exceptionally well around the turn of the 20th century. Enrollment was getting close to 1,000 students, new facilities were being constructed, and a successful effort to raise $2 million for the institution’s endowment fund had just come to a successful conclusion. The new president was William H. P. Faunce.

Andrews Field, an off-campus facility, had recently taken the place of Lincoln Field as the primary home of Brown’s varsity athletic programs. Under the direction of Frederick W., the newly appointed Director of Physical Education, athletics were transitioning from an era in which they were played on unofficial club teams. Marvel, “Doc.” the (1894).

Because of the increased competitiveness with Dartmouth, intercollegiate athletics were becoming more attractive to both current students and graduates of the university. This was particularly the case because of the rivalry between the two schools.

The name “Hilltoppers” is often used by the media to refer to Brown University’s athletic teams; hence, the search for a mascot that could truly represent the university began.

In 1902, an attempt was made to design a mascot using a burro, but it was not successful. In 1904, however, Theodore Francis Green (1887) came up with a solution to the problem.

Brown University hallway

Green, frustrated by what he called the “painful attempts” of newspaper illustrators to produce an appropriate figure to match the Bulldog and the Tiger, hung the mounted head of a bear and dubbed it “THE BROWN BEAR” in the Trophy Room of the new student union (Rockefeller Hall, now Faunce House).

Green had gained traction very soon, and the bear came to be celebrated in poetry, music, and art. In 1905, a real bear was rented for the Dartmouth football game that was played in Springfield. This marked the beginning of a well-known tradition that, despite being disrupted by two world wars and the Great Depression, persisted until the mid-1960s.

Live bear lore is filled to the brim with adventures that defy contemporary imagination, including tales of collegiate shenanigans such as “bearnappings,” as well as sorrowful bear deaths and funerals.

In addition to real bears, students dressed up in bear costumes. This tradition is still upheld today with Bruno and his companion Cubby, whose identities are never revealed. In 1906, at the Dartmouth game, a student who arrived in Springfield all garbed in bear costumes was the first person to wear such. This was the result of a collaborative effort.

Students took turns after each “bear” slumped exhausted from the frenetic whirling snake dance during the post-game victory march back to the city. The dance was performed after the game. The significance of the Brown Bear to the Brown community has been memorialized on campus through various statues.

All four of these sculptures—the Bronze Bruno (1927), the Fountain Bear (1932), the Swearer Bear (1988), and the Indomitable (2013)—have the symbol of the brown bear prominently displayed at all times.

Since the very beginning, people have been debating what the actual significance of the brown Bear is supposed to be. After its casting in 1923, the Bronze Bruno was put into storage at Gorham Manufacturing Company, where it stayed dormant for many years as controversy raged about its significance and where it should be placed.

The term “Brown Bear” is used in a variety of contexts in modern times, including but not limited to men’s and women’s athletic teams, the Alumni Brown Bear Awards, employee BEAR Day, and of course, Brown’s official mascot.

The tradition of naming a building after the Brown Bear is firmly ingrained in the architecture of the Brown campus and in the lives of Brown students.

How was The Bear in the early days of the Ivy League?

In the early years of the Ivy League, what was the Bear’s reputation like? In 1950, Brown had not one but two different mascots. The original Bruno XI was the largest cub ever recorded, but it didn’t take long before he was succeeded by a “smaller, tamer, more docile” version of himself.

Bruno XI passed away at the University of Pennsylvania Vet School, where he had been staying for the weekend, two weeks after his death was announced. The sudden passing of Bruno was due to a lung illness, which may have been made worse by the sub-zero temperatures that prevailed at Franklin Field.

Around the middle of the 1960s, people’s enthusiasm for live bear mascots began to wane. M. Charles Bakst ’66 and his wife Elizabeth ’67 came forward in 1967 despite the fact that there was no bear in sight.

One of the gates in the Brown University

Friends of the Athletic Director Dick Theibert, the Baksts “took on the mission of locating a bear” with his blessing. After making inquiries to a number of state and national parks, they were successful in reaching one of them. The bear was eventually found. The pair paid $37.51 out of a total cost of $75 to secure naming rights for their business.

In honor of Charlie’s wife, the bear was given the name Liz Bear by Charlie. Liz Bear, Brown University’s last living bear mascot, was housed at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island.

What is the Bear Fountain?

And where can we find the Bear Fountain? the fountain that honors Brown official mascot? During the construction of Faunce House, a bear fountain was incorporated into the interior courtyard. The bear is a bronze replica of one that Theodore Francis Green found presiding over a fountain in Breslau, Germany.

Green gave the bear to Brown University in 1887 as a gift. As mentioned previously, Green was the one who had chosen the bear as Brown’s mascot. Green contacted the German sculptor Professor Ernest Moritz Geyger and made arrangements for him to produce a duplicate of the bear in bronze for Brown.

What is the Bronze Bruno?

What is there to know about this bronze sculpture that is inspired by Brown official mascot? At the fifteenth reunion of the class of 1907, which took place in 1922, the idea of giving a bronze bear as a class gift was brought up, but it was ultimately voted down in favor of giving a scholarship as the class gift.

After hearing about the concept, Zechariah Chafee (1880) persuaded a member of the class of 1907, Herbert B. Keen, to initiate a subscription among the alumni. Zechariah Chafee 1880 was also the first person to contribute to the subscription. At the conclusion of Commencement Day, $800 had been raised, and a spontaneous slogan called “Put a Hair on the Bear” became the watchword of the campaign.

This phrase encouraged alumni to subscribe a single hair for one dollar or a complete patch for one hundred dollars. There was a need for approximately $10,000. Eli Harvey, an animal sculptor based in New York City, was the one who won the Bronze Bruno award for the role of the bear’s sculptor. The group suggested creating a duplicate of a Kodiak Brown Bear that was as large as life.

It was decided that the statue would be placed in front of Marvel Gym on a pedestal that would contain a piece of slate rock that was said to have been stepped upon by Roger Williams when he alit from his canoe in 1636 at the place he was to name Providence.

Some people preferred the site of the unveiling of the model as the permanent home for the bear, but it was ultimately decided that this would not be the case. The statue was relocated to the College Green because the Marvel Gym was no longer in operation.

Is there another bronze bear statue on the Brown campus?

The five-foot-six bronze bear in the Maddock Alumni Center yard is the work of sculptor Nicholas Swearer, son of President Howard Swearer, from whom the monument was commissioned by the Class of 1949 as a farewell to his administration.

On November 12, 1988, the statue was unveiled. President Swearer was given a small eighteen-inch bear at this time. This statue depicts the mascot in a bear suit; the person inside may be identified by peering inside the bear’s mouth.

Bonus topic: Are college mascots secret?

Are college mascots, like Brown official mascot, kept hidden? Both the college and the mascot squad go through tremendous efforts in order to conceal the mascot’s true identity. There are times when only the very best of pals are in the know (sometimes not even them).

Students who are assigned the role of mascot on game day are typically required to lie to their peers about the reason they are unable to attend the game. Instead of disclosing their true identity as the mascot, they may state that they are an athletic intern or manager.

There is a possibility that some mascots will disclose their true identities at commencement by continuing to wear at least a portion of their outfit. For instance, at Virginia Tech, the Hokie Bird announces his or her identity by donning the Hokie feet at the commencement ceremony.

Experience Brown school spirit with Bruno the Bear

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Front view of Brown University - one of the best marine biology colleges

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