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Mascots at UWM: Gulls, Cardinals, and Panthers, Oh My! - Archives Dept.: Images

Photos, Drawings, and History of the various UWM Mascots.


This 1956 rendition of the cardinal is the oldest drawing of a UWM mascot extant in the Archives. (Illustration from "Cardinal Illustrates Strength of UWM," UWM Post, December 12, 1956) As UWM developed, athletics—and the depiction of the mascot—began to be taken more seriously, as seen in this refined drawing of the cardinal, c. 1960. (Illustration from Box 2, Folder 1, UW-Milwaukee Memorabilia Collection) The Post selected this rendition of a panther as the winning design in their 1965 mascot contest. (Illustration from box 139, folder 4, UW-Milwaukee Office of the Chancellor Records)

To celebrate the adoption of a new mascot, the Post devoted an entire supplemental in 1965 to the panther and the history of school spirit and athletics at UWM. (Illustration from "Students Design Mascots Through Post Contest," UWM Post, April 29, 1965) The Athletic Department quickly adopted the panther as its emblem, going so far as to name its short-lived newsletter, The Panther (1972-1974) after the mascot. (Illustration from box 3, folder 21, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records) The applications to which the panther mascot could be put were immediately obvious, as in this 1972 graphic. (Illustration from box 3, folder 21, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records)

Another application was marketing, as in this business-savvy panther. (Illustration from box 3, folder 21, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records) The Athletic Department adopted "Trouble" in 1972 to serve as a living mascot for UWM's sports teams. Caring for the North American golden panther was apparently expensive or time-consuming, as Trouble did not return in 1973. (Illustration from "Grrr...," UWM Post, October 20, 1972) Official adoption of the panther mascot gave Athletics officials new graphic opportunities for sports programs. Here, the panther shows his support on a 1973 football program cover. (Illustration from box 2, folder 30, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records)

By the late '70s, the mascot had become an integral part of school spirit efforts. This 1977 photo shows the costumed mascot with the cheerleading team. (Photograph from box 14, folder 1, UW-Milwaukee Photographs Collection)


Students were less quick to adopt the panther as emblematic of the campus, as seen in this 1981 graphic, in part because of the commuter nature of the school and the loss of key athletic programs, such as football. (Illustration from Mary Czaja, "Victor E. Panther 'takes to the woods,'" UWM Post, September 2, 1981) Victor E. Panther made a comeback in the 1990s, when newly hired Athletic Director Bud Haidet piloted UWM athletics back into NCAA Division I. (Photograph from box 6, folder 8, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records)

Victor's look fluctuated into the 1990s, as seen in this photo of the mascot making a new friend at the 1997 Alumni Night Basketball Gala. (Photograph from box 1, folder 37, UW-Milwaukee University Communications & Media Relations Photographs) Victor E. was the official sponsor of various contests at athletic events, including this 1998 UPASS sweepstakes. (Illustration from box 6, folder 27, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records) When Bruce Pearl joined UWM as men's basketball coach in 2001, Victor E. Panther was at his press conference to welcome him. (Photograph from box 4, folder 21, UW-Milwaukee University Communications & Media Relations Photographs)

Victor E. high-fives a row of swimmers fresh out of the pool in 1995. (Photograph from box 6, folder 38, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records)

Victor continued to enjoy popularity and stir up school spirit with the help of the UWM Dance Team through the end of the 20th century, as shown in this 1999 photo. (Photograph from box 6, folder 8, UW-Milwaukee Athletics Records)

The panther was adaptable to all sorts of purposes. Here, the as-then-unnamed panther practices his hook shot in the header of the Post sports section. (Illustration from UWM Post, March 29, 1966)

Victor E. cheers on the men's basketball team during their historic Sweet 16 season in 2005. (Photograph from NCAA Men's Basketball 2005 folder, UW-Milwaukee University Communications & Media Relations Photographs) Victor threw the first pitch at UWM Night at Miller Park from 2004-2007. (Photograph from Peppy O'Neill, "UWM Night at Miller Park," news release, May 11, 2004, UW-Milwaukee,, accessed September 22, 2009. Also available in 04.05 Images folder, UW-Milwaukee University Communications and Media Relations Records) Pounce the Panther stepped into Victor E.'s shoes at the 2007 annual October kickoff, to mixed reaction. (Photograph from "Meet Pounce the Panther," news release, October 18, 2007, UW-Milwaukee,, accessed September 22, 2009)

Pounce gives a high-five to a fan outside Miller Park in 2008. (Photograph from "UWM Night at Miller Park," news release, September 16, 2009, provided by the UWM News) Pounce the Panther, shown here with Chancellor Carlos Santiago and Vice Chancellor Helen Mamarchev, is a well-connected cat, 2007. (Photograph from "Division-Wide Picnic," news release, June 10, 2008, UW-Milwaukee,, accessed September 22, 2009) Pounce has won a place in the hearts of the Athletic Department and UWM students alike. Go Panthers! (Photograph from UW-Milwaukee Photographic Services,, accessed September 22, 2009)