One of Ohio State’s most storied figures, the founding of Brutus Buckeye began with the hard work and dedication of Ohio State students and student organizations.
Ohio State had no mascot prior to 1965, when students took matters into their own hands and launched an effort to create one. Some of the earliest documentation of the initiative is in the archival meeting minutes from Ohio Stater’s, Inc., a long-standing student service organization still in existence at Ohio State today.
In October 1965, students Ray Bourhis and Sally (Huber) Lanyon began to build a papier-mâché mascot. The construction took place at the Pi Beta Phi sorority house in the off-campus area, and Stater’s allocated $50 to the construction expenses in mid-October.
The mascot, without an official name at the time, made its debut by walking down the entrance ramp at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 30, 1965, at the Homecoming football game against Minnesota. Shortly after this premiere, Stater’s hosted a contest to identify a name for the mascot, which ultimately was announced as Brutus Buckeye.
Because the papier-mâché Brutus was not durable for Ohio weather conditions, Stater’s voted to allocate $200 to support the creation of a fiberglass mascot. The new model even sported different faces: a smile when the Buckeyes were driving down the field to victory and a frown for when the game wasn’t going so well.
At the conclusion of the 1967 football season, management of Brutus was turned over to Block “O,” an Ohio State student organization dedicated to promoting and enhancing school spirit and pride — also still in existence today.
Block “O” managed the mascot until 1974. After a Big Ten Championship season and an impending trip to the Rose Bowl game in Pasadena that year, Brutus was not originally scheduled to make an appearance in California. In the end, Ohio State’s Athletics department made the decision to send Brutus to the Rose Bowl, and Ohio State’s cheerleading and spirit team took control of the mascot, where he has been lovingly cared for ever since.
In the 1980s, Brutus received another update to his look: a baseball cap with an “O,” his signature scarlet and gray striped shirt with the “00” on the back and some slim-fitting sweatpants. In the 1990s, his upper-body beefed up. And in 2007, our beloved Brutus was inducted into the Mascot Hall of Fame.
Feel free to drop him a shout-out on Twitter!
Position: Mascot Extraordinaire
Height: 6’0 – 6’9, depending on if it rains
City/State: Old Columbus town, Ohio
Alma Mater: THE Ohio State University
High School: Due to his oversized head & brain, Brutus actually scored a 200 on his IQ test from birth & was offered a full ride scholarship directly in to Ohio State immediately after emerging from his POD negating the need for any form of intermediate schooling.
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