Wichita State’s WuShock is one of a kind


Joseph Barringhaus

Wu Shock walks into the pep rally with the Shocker Marching Band at the pep rally on Monday. (Joseph Barringhaus/The Sunflower)

Wichita State’s mascot, WuShock, is one of a kind.

WuShock, a 7-foot, muscle-bound bundle of wheat, derived from a time when players would spend their summers shocking wheat. A shock is a bundle of wheat tied together after harvest. Kansas is the country’s leading producer of wheat.

In 1954, a cheerleader for the university built a prototype WuShock costume using $20 worth of supplies. His mother helped him assemble the costume out of draped cloth, a wire frame, football shoulder pads, and a Ping-Pong ball nose. In 1970, a professionally-made suit debuted. The suit has transformed several times since then.

In 2001, the university considered replacing the WuShock character with a strong farmer. The idea was quickly shot down.

WuShock, sometimes known as Wu, was named after the university’s initials, Wichita University.

Last year, WuShock won the title of best mascot in America via a fan vote on CollegeCourtReport.com

Most common college mascots

Eagles – 43 schools

Bulldogs – 42 schools

Tigers – 39 schools

Wildcats – 33 schools