New Billiken, fleur-de-lis debut


Cooley, Sean

Student reactions cross spectrum of opinion

On Nov. 13, Saint Louis University gathered at Chaifetz arena to reveal the new logos for the University and Athletics.

For the past 18 months, members of the University have worked together to rebrand the Billiken image in an effort to promote marketing.

According to an article posted by the University, entitled “SLU to Unveil New Logos for University and Billiken Athletics,” the current fleur-de-lis logo and the Billiken were created over 20 years ago.

By modernizing the logos, SLU hopes to seal its status as a leading university in the nation.

The Billiken, for SLU, dates back to 1910. While many stories surround how it became SLU’s mascot, the most common ones tie the Billiken to John Bender.

Bender, the football coach at the time, resembled the Billiken. Soon, the football team was known as “Bender’s Billikens,” and it has developed into the well-known Billiken students have come to know over the years.

At the unveiling ceremony on Friday afternoon, the anticipation was evident among the students in the crowded stadium.

Students were invited to enjoy free refreshments, merchandise and other items during the ceremony. SLU President Fred Pestello was among the presenting members of the SLU community at the event.

Following the unveiling ceremony, students were invited to a party at the SLU bookstore, which featured free pizza, raffle drawings and sales on new merchandise featuring the new Billiken.

Junior Maddie Marcinczyk, among the attendees, said, “I really like the idea of bringing the SLU community together to reveal the new logo. It’s great to be part of SLU’s history.”

She, like many, felt that this change of logo was a necessary part of SLU’s growth.

The new fleur-de-lis features a simplified blue and white design, while the Billiken has a new facial design. In terms of color change, half of its face now is grey. For many, this is a welcomed design change.

Senior Mari Kerwin said, “The new, simpler design of the fleir-de-lis looks fantastic. The old one had too much going on.”

However, Kerwin and others were unsure how they felt about the new Billiken.

For many, the Billiken is a symbol of tradition. This new alteration that will take time to get used to.

Marcinczyk added, “I think the new Billiken will take some time to get used to. However, I am sure that with time, it will too be engraved into our tradition.”

As explained in the University article, the designs were created by Olson, a branding firm based in Minneapolis.

Together with the help of SLU’s Marketing and Communications and Athletics Department, the new logos were shown to some students, staff and others for input before the big reveal. This culmination of ages and ideas produced the new design.

While this is not the first time that the Billiken has experienced major changes, this certainly is a huge modification for the fleur-de-lis.

The design still features a shield, cross and crown to not only represent the Jesuit University, but to also represent King St. Louis IX, whom the city is named after.

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