You have likely encountered Tommie, the St. Thomas mascot, at various campus events. But do you know that Tommie is the descendant of a series of St. Thomas mascots?
As early as 1947, students were asking in the college newspaper (The Aquin) why the school didn’t have a mascot when many of our rival schools had one.
It wasn’t until the mid-1950s that the first mascot, Tommy Tiger, appeared on the scene. Originally managed by the Letterman’s Club, this orange and black cat made appearances to boost school spirit at sporting and social events on campus. By the early 1970s, interest in keeping up this tradition alive waned and Tommy Tiger disappeared from the campus scene.
Tommy Tiger with the Homecoming Queen, 1957
Msgr. Murphy with Tommy Tiger, 1971.
The St. Thomas mascot was revived by the college the mid-1980s. Instead of returning as Tommy Tiger, the mascot was renamed Tommie (a feline of undetermined origin). Since its comeback over 30 years ago, Tommie has changed its appearance several times. I would guess the purple fur from the 1980s is one look Tommie would like to forget!
Tommie with a future St. Thomas student, 1984
Tommie at a football game, 1997
Today — Tommie remains an ambassador for St. Thomas and promoter of school pride and spirit at campus events. Be sure to get a high-five from Tommie next time you meet it!
Tommie at the St. Thomas vs. St. Johns football game, 2005
To find out more about the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.