Wilbur and Wilma
Wilma & Wilber Wildcat in the bucket of Tucson Fire Department ladder truck 1.JPG
TeamArizona Wildcats
UniversityUniversity of Arizona
ConferencePac-12
DescriptionAnthropomorphic North American wildcats
First seen1959
Websitehttp://arizonaalumni.com/blog/wilbur-t-wildcat
Autograph
Wilbur T. Wildcat Autograph.jpg

Wilbur and Wilma T. Wildcat are the official mascots at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona.

History

In 1915, the school's first mascot, "Rufus Arizona" was brought to campus. He was a live desert bobcat, named for U of A president Rufus von KleinSmid. For the next fifty years, the school used live mascots, a practice which was discontinued in the 1960s. However, in 1959, Wilbur, the costumed version of the live bobcat mascots, began appearing at football games. He was extremely popular, and has stayed ever since. In 1986, Wilma Wildcat was created, and was even married to Wilbur.[1]

Originally, in honor of Arizona's Old West heritage, Wilbur wore a blue flat-topped cowboy hat, a blue vest, a cardinal bandana scarf around his neck and a holster with two pistols. Recently, Wilbur and Wilma have taken to wearing the teams' athletics jerseys instead of their traditional outfits, both as a sign of team spirit and to avoid references to gun violence. However, the hat remains on Wilbur, and Wilma wears a cardinal-colored bow.

Naming

The mascots' full names are Wilbur the Wildcat and Wilma the Wildcat, but they are often abbreviated to Wilbur T. Wildcat and Wilma T. Wildcat.[2][3][4] Fans normally refer to the mascots simply as Wilbur and Wilma.

Identity

The identities of the students portraying Wilbur and Wilma are kept confidential until the final home basketball game of the season.[5]

References

  1. ^ "Wilbur and Wilma". Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  2. ^ "Wilbur T. Wildcat". Facebook. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Wilbur T. Wildcat". Twitter. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  4. ^ "Wilma T. Wildcat". Twitter. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. ^ Wall, Matt. "Under the mask: A behind the scenes look at what it's like to be Wilbur and Wilma". Daily Wildcat. Retrieved 6 June 2017.