By Jaeden Langenberg, Byron Garcia & Hailey Oskey
There are a few things that make up a well-rounded university, superior academics, decorated athletics, and a famous mascot.
The University of Wisconsin Green Bay might have all the attributes of a great college. However, one thing that stands out from the other campuses is the university’s mascot Plash the Phoenix. Plash the Phoenix has been the university’s designated mascot since the institution of an official university mascot in 1970. Any university will tell the public that having a mascot to show off the school’s spirit is by far one of the most important attributes a college could have. Not only is Plash present at sporting events that occur at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay, but Plash can also be seen navigating through the halls of the campus, headed towards the majority of social events that happen on the campus.
Since the university was built in 1965, the mascot has gone through a handful of different looks over the years. After further investigation, there have been at least seven different looks the mascot has taken on. The look becomes more and more realistic every time it changes. However, changing the look only feeds into the idea of the phoenix itself. The phoenix is a mythical creature that ages rapidly, and when its full life cycle comes to an end, it bursts into flames and then is reincarnated from the ashes, starting the process all over again.
According to a 1992 account written by Sampson for the Inside UWGB campus magazine, more than 40 choices were suggested when deciding the mascot for the university. Like the Earthmen, Eco-nauts, The Environmentalists, and E-Gulls, the idea of a mascot that “cleans up the environment” played to a principal academic emphasis of the new school. Bison, Dolphins, Sharks, and Beavers also billed themselves as eco-friendly. Nicolet paid homage to a 17th-century European explorer, while Loggers boasted a rough outdoors spirit. In the end, the university landed on the phoenix and named it Phlash.
When it comes to sporting events, the mascot brings energy and pizazz. Josh Moon, the athletic director at UWGB, talks about the significance of the mascot and its meaning to the university, stating, “Phlash carries our spirit with us, whether that’s a sporting event or around campus. The mascot embodies our students and staff who take pride in calling themselves UWGB Phoenix”. Sean Daniels also stated that “(Phlash the Phoenix) knows how to bring the energy without ever having to say a word. It’s fun to watch them do their thing when it’s game time and work for the crowd the only way a mascot knows how.” Daniels also added that the athletic department expresses great sympathy for the mascot as it most likely can get warm under the suit.
P.S: We had the honor of speaking to Phlash personally; however, under UWGB confidentiality and mascot laws, we are not able to publish audio and video of the mascot. Fortunately, we were provided with a picture and quote from them. Although it is not allowed for the mascot to reveal itself, it has been rumored that one of the very real possibilities of the mascot’s identity is none other than Professor Joseph Yoo of the communication department.