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Ruckus, The Pioneers', Mischievous Mascot
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Release: 01/04/2001
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With the opening of the Ritchie Center complex, a characterization of a red tailed hawk soared onto the scene to help cheer on University of Denver athletic teams in NCAA Division I competition. After almost a year of deliberation, the popular new mascot has been given a name to match its personality. Chancellor Daniel L. Ritchie suggested the name "Ruckus," and it immediately stuck as the perfect embodiment of the spirit of spontaneous enthusiasm and energy. Of course, thats exactly what Ruckus is supposed to do -- generate good-humoured fan support, and a sense of participation by our fans.

The red tailed hawk was chosen as the symbol of Pioneer spirit because it is one of the most familiar and majestic of the wild animals in our beloved Rocky Mountain west. We know that when our namesake pioneers first settled and began to build a town at the confluence of Cherry Creek and the Platte River in 1858, they undoubtedly saw a red tailed hawk swooping and soaring above them -- an omen that this spot was destined for greatness. Only six years later, the University of Denver was founded in 1864 a few miles to the south and east of that original town site. Our intention is to recapture the spirit of the pioneers and the grace and athleticism of the magnificent red tailed hawk as we bring collegiate athletics to our community. Similar to the passing of the mascot torch from Pioneer Pete (1910-1961) to the Walt Disney created Denver Boone (1968-1998), Ruckus, the red tailed hawk, will now carry that message as we launch a new tradition for the new millennium of our University.

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