The Little-Known Mascots Of Binghamton University’s Past
For over 20 years, whenever you attended an athletic event at Binghamton University or went to a parade in the Southern Tier, there was a good chance that you would see the Binghamton University mascot there.
Everyone knows that the mascot for Binghamton University is a Bearcat named "Baxter. But did you know that the first mascot was a different animal and may have been named after a Marx brother? Let's travel back in time.
In the mid-50s', Binghamton University was called "Harpur College" and they needed a mascot. In 1954, the search was underway to choose a mascot for the college and many names were considered...and the winner was.
The First Binghamton University Mascot
The first mascot was a Mexican burro named "Harpo" and in this case, it was a real, live animal. The senior class bought a burro as a graduation gift and was tied to a flagpole at the school.
However, Harpo wasn't a kid-friendly mascot...In fact, he wasn't friendly at all. Harpo would kick and bite students and eventually he was taken away for the student's safety. I don't know if the burro was named after the Marx brother but it wouldn't surprise me.
After Harpo was removed, the college would be without one for several years. In 1965, Harpur College was renamed "The State University of New York at Binghamton" and went by the Binghamton Colonials.
They were still without a mascot after the donkey was kicked out and sophomore Bill Paolillo decided to change that. He bought a Paul Revere costume to wear to the basketball games and Colonial Bill was born.
There were other mascots like Colonial Woody and Colonial Chicken until 1999. That's when Binghamton University became an NCAA Division I college and changed their name from the Binghamton Colonials to the Binghamton Bearcats.
Binghamton University Baxter The Bearcat
In 2001, the Bearcat was named "Baxter" during Midnight Madness. Over 20 years later, this mythical animal with the power of a bear and quickness of a cat is still prowling the sidelines today.
Keep going to see what those mascots of the past looked like!