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Evolution of a Mascot

July 27, 2016  | 1 min read

1945 to 1950

Roland appeared first in print in the Graphic in 1945. His name is derived from the classic Pepperdine cheer, “Roll on, you Waves!”

Roland the Mascot - Pepperdine Magazine1951

Students proposed that Joe the Pelican become the University mascot in an article printed in the Graphic in 1951.

that Joe the Pelican - Pepperdine Magazine

1952 to 1972



"Willie the Wave" made his official debut at a George Pepperdine College sporting event.


1952 to 1972 "Willie the Wave" Mascot - Pepperdine Magazine

1972 to 1992

The second iteration of Willie was nicknamed “the Fur Ball,” “the Hairy Smurf,” and “Old Carpethead.”

Second iteration of "Willie the Wave" - Pepperdine Magazine


1992 to 1996

The third iteration of Willie was sometimes referred to as “Mac Tonight.”

Third iteration of "Willie the Wave" - Pepperdine Magazine

1996 to 2003

King Neptune was first introduced at Midnight Madness in October 1996.

King Neptune Mascot - Pepperdine Magazine


Following three mascot-less years,

Willie the Wave returned to Pepperdine on October 21, 2006, at “Madness Entourage” at Firestone Fieldhouse. Present-day Willie is bedecked in a blue-and-white floral shirt, orange shorts, a pair of orange flip-flop sandals, and a tidal wave of school spirit.

"Willie the Wave" Mascot - Pepperdine Magazine