Who better to wish Gus Gorilla a “happy 90th birthday” than Jack Overman, who is beloved almost as much as our iconic Gus?
Although the concept of a gorilla for a mascot dates back to 1920, it wasn’t until 1923 that student Helen Waskey created a drawing, giving Gus a likeness and a personality.
Jack Overman arrived on campus in 1936. As a yell leader, Jack was known to assume the Gus persona from time to time in order to fire up the students in advance of a big game.
Today, Gus Gorilla is one of the most recognizable and most loved of all PSU traditions and he remains unique among all U.S. college mascots.
PSU’s Gorilla mascot had his genesis in the antics of a group of enthusiastic students, who were derided by some as “gorillas.”
That enthusiasm has not waned and today is an important part of the one of the best campus environments in the country.
Gus is beloved not only by alumni, but by thousands of youngsters who flock to him at every athletic contest and public appearance.
What is your favorite memory of Gus?
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