The evolution of GSU’s mascot from Owls to Panthers
If former Georgia State students had had their way, the fighting GSU Penguins might be storming onto the field Sept. 2. Or the crowd could be kicking up dirt for the Ramblers, or hooting for the Owls.
During the school’s history, the identity of the Georgia State mascot has changed several times. In 1940 the Georgia Evening College (as GSU was then known) created a logo with an owl as its centerpiece because the school was largely a night college for business people. By 1946, the school’s athletic teams were dubbed the Owls. In 1947, the name was changed to the Ramblers, although GSU historians are unsure as to why.
As their name would suggest, the Ramblers didn’t stick around for long. In 1955, the student councils for both the day and night divisions of Georgia State spent months searching for a new team name. They selected the Panthers over other ferocious monikers such as the Bears, Eagles and Lions, and the decidedly less intimidating Penguins. In 1988, Georgia State’s athletic department decided the university needed a mascot. A year later, a crimson Panther named Urbie was unveiled.
Soon though, Urbie was unseated.
In 1993, Georgia State and the Alumni Association hired Real Characters, Inc., to create a new mascot that embodied the university’s athletic programs and school spirit. The result was Pounce, a Georgia State blue panther with a muscular, albeit cartoonish, body.
As GSU continued to mature, so did Pounce. In the early 2000s, the mascot was revamped, resulting in a refined facial expression and cat-like body. Pounce was seen more around campus in images where he was crouching, growling and even slam-dunking a basketball.
With the start of GSU Football on the horizon, Pounce last year received another makeover and now has a sleeker, more athletic body that looks ready to “pounce” on opponents. The fierce new feline will be on the sidelines at every GSU Panther Football game, pepping up the crowd and roaring for the team. And he’ll certainly do it better than an owl or penguin could – Ready, Set, Pounce!