Where the Wildcats Are!

mascot costumes 1974 to present

In 1926, the Wildcat was voted the official mascot for UNH, winning out over the Durham bulls, huskies, eagles, and unicorns. Students believed that the speed, litheness, cunning and resourcefulness of the wildcat were attributes to be found in the UNH athletic teams. After reviewing the slideshow below, see Wildcat costumes review.

  • Wildcat sculpture

    During the 2006 Homecoming Weekend, the University of New Hampshire unveiled its newest symbol of Wildcat pride—a larger-than-life bronze statue installed next to Memorial Field. But the story of the UNH mascot begins many years earlier.

  • one of the live mascots

    In the 1920s, live bobcats were used as mascots, despite the fact that the cats did not enjoy captivity, let alone the crowds and spectacle of athletics events. The late C. Philip Shannon '36, president of Lambda Chi Alpha, was the trainer for Butch I, one of several bobcat mascots.

  • one of the live mascots

    In 1940 the decision was made to do without a live mascot. Since then, graphics, costumed players, and most recently, the Wildcat sculpture, have brought the mascot to life.

  • statue base installation

    It’s hard to imagine this spot without the Wildcat sculpture. The $160,000 project was funded entirely with private gifts, including support from the Edward and Selma Bacon Simon fund, alumni donors, and the UNH Parents Association. Staff and faculty, alumni, parents and artists on the sculpture committee chose from among 40 artists' proposals.

  • positioning sculpture on the stone base

    According to sculptor Matthew Gray Palmer of Friday Harbor, Washington, moving the sculpture was not terribly difficult with the proper equipment, just a little nerve racking. The wildcat's eye level is over 6' high and the sculpture weighs between 800 and 900 pounds. The granite boulder it is secured to weighs about 15,000 pounds.

  • artist posing with sculpture

    Palmer specializes in large public works of art, works that put "an artistic expression out where people can touch it, feel the patterns and put their arms around it." He hopes the Wildcat will be a source of pride for the UNH community.

  • pat the cat

    A new tradition—"Pat the 'Cat"—was created in 2006 as first-year students officially became “Wildcats” by touching the Wildcat sculpture for good luck.

  • Wildcat sculpture wearing graduation cap

    Students are watched over by an attentive presence troughout their college years and during Commencement activities.

  • Child hugging the wildcat statue

    The Wildcat will welcome new generations of UNH students for many years to come.

Photography by Photographic Services. Slideshow by Marjorie Foote, Editorial and Creative Services. Special thanks to Mylinda Woodward, UNH Archives, and Bridget Finnegan, New and Emerging Media.