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    Willie the Wildcat

    The team's first mascot was not Willie the Wildcat (as the current mascot is known), but a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo name Furpaw. In fall 1923, Furpaw was driven to the playing field to greet fans before each game. However, after a losing season, the team decided Furpaw was the harbinger of bad luck and banished him from campus.

    The following year, a reporter from Chicago Tribune who was covering Northwestern's game against the University of Chicago Maroons described the football players like "Wildcats [that] had come down from Evanston." The current mascot, Willie the Wildcat, was "born" in 1930s and it is one of the most recognizable symbols of the school today. Willie is an essential part not just of every sporting event at Northwestern, but he is also involved in community service, campus life and many other Chicagoland events. To request Willie at your event, click here.