Willie's Many Faces
A mascot has an important job. It embodies an organization’s identity, serves as a rallying point and fires up fans. It must be loved by children and adults alike, be funny but not offensive, and engage a crowd without speaking or making facial expressions.
Such are the oversized shoes that Willie the Wildcat has been filling for many decades, when he was officially commissioned as USM’s mascot. Since then, there have been several iterations including fierce Willie (early 2000s), cuddly Willie (2010s), and the current Willie we know and love, which debuted in 2015.
Three former versions of Willie made an appearance at USM’s Homecoming pep rally this past October, to the delight of the crowd. Cuddly Willie was especially loved by the younger students, and is seen below getting a hug from Callum McCartin ’33.