July 15, 2011
By Kathy L. Gilbert
United Methodist News Service
In the colorful world of mascots, United Methodist-related schools are at the top of the class with unique and historic “spokespersons.”
The award for the best church-related mascot would have to go to Ohio Wesleyan with the Battling Bishops. A recent Internet posting placed the bishops up there with the Fighting Okra from Delta State University and Sammy the Slug at University of California, Santa Cruz.
The mascot is a svelte, stern-looking bishop dressed in a red robe who has been giving the evil eye to all competitors since 1925. The website states the university in Delaware, Ohio, has produced many of the church’s bishops, thus the origin of the mascot.
There are 121 United Methodist-related and owned institutions in the United States. Tucked among them are some mascot standouts:
Peruna, the Shetland pony, Southern Methodist University, Dallas: A Shetland pony has pranced across the football field since 1932. It was during Prohibition when the pony got its name from a popular alcohol-laced, over-the-counter medicine called Peruna Tonic. No one can say SMU doesn’t have spirit.
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