Evolution of a Mascot
Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.
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!”
Students proposed that Joe the Pelican become the University mascot in an article printed in the Graphic in 1951.
1952 to 1972
"Willie the Wave" made his official debut at a George Pepperdine College sporting event.
1972 to 1992
The second iteration of Willie was nicknamed “the Fur Ball,” “the Hairy Smurf,” and “Old Carpethead.”
1992 to 1996
The third iteration of Willie was sometimes referred to as “Mac Tonight.”
1996 to 2003
King Neptune was first introduced at Midnight Madness in October 1996.
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.