1915. Original 'Rufus Arizona':
The original wildcat mascot arrived on campus
October 17, 1915, and was introduced to the student body the following day
at assembly in Herring Hall. He was the gift of the freshman football
team who had raised the funds ($9.91) to purchase him. He was officially
named "Rufus Arizona",
after UA President Rufus B. von KleinSmid.
On April 17, 1916 Rufus died. The Arizona Wildcat reported
. . . while endeavoring to perform gymnastic stunts in the
limbs of a tree to which he was tied, Rufus Arizona . . . fell and
Note: never tie a feline to a tree. Rufus was memorialized in verse
and a Wildcat editorial, which noted that his "growls urged our team to
victory" and spoke of his "strength, alertness, tenacity -- the true
Rufus had several successors in later years.