Cy turns 60

Beau Berkley

This year’s homecoming celebration, beginning Oct. 5, marks the 102nd anniversary of the event. But while homecoming will be celebrated by students and alumni alike, there is a birthday that is not to be forgot. 

Cy — Iowa State’s jovial cardinal mascot forever trapped inside a tornado — is turning 60 this year. 

Cy’s origins date back to the early 1950s, when Harry Burrel, a sports information director, and Chev Adams, president of the former Collegiate Manufacturing Company of Ames, were trying to think of a mascot that would resemble a column of wind. After a student-run challenge, it was decided that the mascot would resemble a cardinal bird. 

A nationwide contest was then used to decide what name the mascot should bear. It was after this that “Cy the Cyclone” was born. Cy made his collegiate debut at the 1954 homecoming game and the rest is history. 

While Cy can always be found on the sidelines, beckoning for the crowd to rise up and cheer on Iowa State, the geriatric mascot has also won some competitions himself. In 2007, he was named the CBS Sportsline Most Dominant College Mascot on Earth and in 2008 he was the Capital One Bowl National Mascot of the Year.

So next time you see Cy leading Jack Trice Stadium in an “I-S-U” chant, don’t be surprised if he starts up another to the tune of “A-A-R-P.”