Mascot History

How "Freddy The Pheasant" Came To Be

ATHLETIC-HISTORY_cyclopsThe first mascot of Silver Lake College came to life in July of 1965. Students Judy Boltz, Mary Ann Deschaine and Judy Linsmeier, who were apparently inspired by the writings of Homer, created "Cyclops Jr." He was described as a young-looking but wise little fellow who, unlike Homer’s one-eyed giants, doesn’t eat people.

Cyclops roamed the hallowed halls of Silver Lake College until 1972, at which time an outside firm was asked to take the image of a pheasant and produce a mascot in three different poses. The pheasant was chosen because of the bird's storied past at the college. The connection apparently goes back to the 1960s, when a ATHLETIC-HISTORY_chiefmounted pheasant was on loan from the college biology lab to the college library. As it stood out from the rest of the library decor and seemed to peer at students as they studied, the bird became "a target." Sr. Marcolette Madden, then a student at the college, began to dress the bird for special occasions. Over time, the rest of the student body got into the act and the poor pheasant was even "kidnapped" during homecoming. These acts became tradition among the students. Eventually, much to the students’ dismay, the pheasant was returned to the biology lab.

It was in this time of need that Sr. Martina Van Ryzin came to the college’s aid. While speaking at a grade school she ran into a collector of stuffed birds who was cleaning out his collection. Sister acquired a pheasant, and, as it was Christmas-time, wrapped it appropriately and presented it to the student body. When first accepted as the mascot of Silver Lake the pheasant was named "Super Chief" because the college had "adopted" Manitowoc’s semi-pro football team, the Chiefs.

ATHLETIC-HISTORY_freddybHowever, this was not what the students called the bird. It had been dubbed "Freddy" by the students, since it first became a part of their tradition. Freddy became the pheasant’s official name in 1975 and has remained since. The only thing that has changed is his likeness. Kent Perrodin, a former student in the late 1980s, produced the character solely used until 1997. Freddy was once again freshened in the summer of 1997. This time, Dean Konop, a 1997 alumnus of Silver Lake College, developed a more current full-color adaptation. This current Freddy is used on Laker Wear (college athletic apparel) and in college promotional brochures. The original Freddy still resides in the biology lab. The student’s Freddy resides at the college and continues to be a part of the Silver Lake College tradition.