The Gorlok is Webster University’s mascot. It is a mythical creature designed in part by Webster students and staff through a school contest.
It is reported to have the paws of a speeding cheetah, the horns of a fierce buffalo and the face of a dependable Saint Bernard. The myth of the Gorlok “embodies the highest standards of speed, agility and stamina in an atmosphere of fairness and good conduct.”
Where did the name Gorlok come from?
The name “Gorlok” was derived from the combination of two streets that intersect in the heart of Webster Groves, Missouri, where Webster’s main campus is located – Gore and Lockwood avenues. The name was chosen in June 1984 by a campus committee that considered many suggestions and voted several times before settling on the unusual nickname.
How was the “legend” born?
Once a name was chosen, a contest was run in the October 4, 1984, issue of The Journal, the Webster University student newspaper. At the time the contest was run, only the name Gorlok had been decided. The contest required the applicants to submit a sketch as well as a description of what they thought a Gorlok would look like. The winning entry was a photograph of a furry creature holding a hand-held pump sprayer. This photo was turned over to a professional designer to create the “cartoon” version of the Gorlok that we know.
Is today’s Gorlok the same as the original?
The name and the legend remain, but the face (and body) have changed considerably. The first life-size costume of the Gorlok was not complete until 1988, and made it’s debut at the February 9, 1988 men’s basketball game between Webster and St. Louis Christian College. That first Gorlok stood 6’3″ and was covered in blue fur. It was designed and created by Jana Park-Rogers, a costume designer for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, and Teri McConnell, creator of “Fredbird,” the St. Louis Cardinals mascot.
Today’s Gorlok mascot is much different. A golden fur-covered creature sporting a blue T-shirt emblazoned with a magnificent white “W,” it makes appearance at athletic contests and even worldwide Webster events. A new 5th generation mascot was introduced in March of 2013. You can read about it by clicking here.
Source: Webster Athletics: http://www.websterathletics.com/sports/2008/1/8/GORLOKHISTORY.aspx