Arguably one of the coolest parts of the Exponent’s history is that editors from the 1915-16 school year tagged our university with the mascot “Bobcats.” Attempting to break away from the longstanding nicknames the school had been given, including “Farmers” and “Aggies,” the editorial staff of the Exponent put out a call in the October 1915 edition through the sports section “Between the Goal Posts” requesting suggestions for an official mascot. By the end of October various students had submitted ideas, including “Cowpunchers,” “Coyotes,” “Mavericks,” and “Outlaws.” Dissatisfied with the student recommendations, standing editor-in-chief, Lester Cole, alongside the sports editor, Fred Bullock, brainstormed a list of potential mascots for our beloved MSU. They compiled all the fighting animals they could think of that weren’t already the representatives of another college or university in the area, and eventually they honed in on the bobcat.
The following is a persuasive front-page editorial that was published in a January 1916 edition of the Exponent detailing the decision-making process of the new mascot.
Additionally, in Oct. 2009, MSU finished constructing the Alumni Plaza, located directly north of Montana Hall. The plaza features a bronze bobcat named Spirit, honoring both MSU’s mascot and the first live bobcat ever found and named on campus. The statue is said to showcase the bobcat’s cunning intelligence, athletic prowess and independent spirit, which are all attributes that MSU hopes to cultivate.