This Day in Bonaventure History

By Joe Pinter, News Editor, @JPinter93

December 3, 1996

Though unpopular with many students and alumni, St. Bonaventure University knew it had to change its nickname and mascot. The Brown Indian was out and the Bonnie was in.

Since a Bonnie isn’t an animal, different ideas came up about the new mascot. Ultimately, the university chose the Bona Fanatic (similar to the Philly Phanatic) as its new mascot.

It was on this day that the Fanatic made its first appearance.

Still, many felt that it was poorly planned. Students continued to complain, and the students who wore the Fanatic costume were subjected to assault by Bonaventure’s own fans.

Mercifully, the athletic department decided a change was necessary. In 1998, a committee was formed to come up with a new mascot. Alumni wanted something they could relate to, and the students wanted something they would like. The Bona Wolf was chosen.

The wolf has significance among Bonaventure students since St. Francis is said to have tamed the Wolf of Gubbio. Franciscans consider this one of the most important stories and metaphors from St. Francis’ life. 

To this day, only a few pictures of the Bona Fanatic have been found. Many people acted quickly in getting rid of the pictures. 

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