On November 8th, Addie Watson, the senior class president, and Erica Lane, the student body president, revealed "Roxie the Red Devil" – an updated mascot for the odd-year, red devil classes.
"Richard the Red Devil" began as a bow-tied fella with a wily grin, conceived by the class of 1975 in the wake of a Pink Panther prank. According to Converse historian Dr. Jeff Willis, "for almost a decade, the mascot embraced by Converse students (who entered as freshmen in odd years) was a naked mannequin named Modine." A scan of the pages of any Converse yearbook from 1967 until 1974 reveals Modine as the very model of a good mascot. Always on hand (and sometimes without a hand), she was a fixture on campus until the fall of 1974 when, as Dr. Willis notes, "Modine went missing."
"She is sassy and confident and bold...she is feminine, feisty and fun."
What happened next is the part of the story that underscores the creativity and community for which Converse women are known. Alumna Missy Craver '75 vividly remembers the night that she and two classmates sketched a new mascot and brought him to life. Championed by their classmates, the all night caper was a hit and the sly red devil appeared on t-shirts the very next day. (Apparently, the nickname, "Richard" ensued in the following years.) By all accounts, "Richard" was a student-led solution – a positive response to the Pink Panther's prank and an opportunity to turn the case of the "missing mascot" into a collaborative project for the senior class.
And now, Converse history repeats itself. When the class of 2013 reported Richard the Red Devil was missing, apparently hoisted in another Panther heist, they did what Converse women are prone to do. They took a cue from alumnae! Tipping their collective hats to tradition, they worked together to paint a bit of their generation's personality into their mascot. "We loved Richard's horns, his trademark tail and trident," said student body president Erica Lane. "We loved his cheesy, Cheshire grin and glasses, but, in the wake of another missing mascot, we asked the administration for the chance to say something about ourselves in the passing of the torch from one red devil to another."
Like their sisters from the 70's, these seniors secreted themselves away with a sketch pad and spirit. In their recreation and re-creation, Roxie emerged. "She is sassy and confident and bold," says Lane, "she is feminine, feisty and fun. We hope that our red devil sisters of the past will embrace the evolution."
Richard will likely re-surface over the years – it is believed that he will continue to bring humor and good fun to alumnae reunions for year to come.