The Wildcat's Changing Face

by Jennifer A. Cline, writer/magazine editor

Published March 14, 2018

Pick a mascot ballotWilliamsport Area Community College was just a year old in 1966-67 when it fielded its first intercollegiate team, men’s basketball. (It had previously been Williamsport Technical Institute.) As the season approached, a writer for the student newspaper asked a practical question: “After we start into the basketball season, how are we to be called? A fine winning team needs a name or mascot that will be adapted into the life and future of our school.”

The paper’s next issue, on Nov. 2, issued a challenge – with a payoff. Submit a nickname and win $10.

The Spotlight student paper didn’t reveal the winner, but a February issue noted that the “WACC Wildcats” had won their first game.

The name stuck.

The face? That’s a different story.

The Wildcat

1970s

Early wildcat

The earliest images available in the Penn College archives show an appropriately wild version, modeled after the bobcat common to the woods of northcentral Pennsylvania.

1970s

Wrestling

A 1973-74 wrestling schedule. That year, the Wildcat matmen went 7-4 with two Eastern Pennsylvania Community College Athletic Conference champions: Tom Reeder at 134 pounds, and Dave Laidacker, who had a perfect 13-0 season, at 126 pounds.

1970s

Band

The college band, circa 1975, used an image of a standing wildcat, rather than a crouching one ...

1970s

Sweatshirt

... as did this WACC sweatshirt.

1980s

Early wildcat

Although WACC dropped its intercollegiate sports program at the close of the 1984-85 academic year, the wildcat remained an important symbol.

1990s

Early wildcat

Intercollegiate sports returned to the college – no longer called WACC, but Pennsylvania College of Technology – in 1991-92 with cross-country and golf. When the first Penn College baseball team stepped to the plate in Fall 1992, it donned a new Wildcat logo.

1990s

Early wildcat

The logo's shape evolved from square to round.

2017

The wildcat

The latest wildcat is, like its predecessors, a fierce bobcat, but this high-tech version is distinctively different from any you’ll find in Pennsylvania’s woods.

The Mascot

1999-2006

1999-2006

 

1999-2006

1999-2006

 

2006-11

2006-11

 

2006-11

2006-11

 

2011-17

2011-17

 

2017+

2017+

 

Do you know the Wildcat’s name?

Leading up to Homecoming 2012, members of the Student Government Association and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee initiated an anonymous online poll, offering these four options. The winner captured 43 percent of the votes.