Herky through the years


He only gets better with age.

In 1948, journalism professor Dick Spencer put pen to paper and hatched an iconic emblem for University of Iowa athletics. After a statewide naming contest, Spencer’s creation, a cartoon bird, soon had moniker: Herky, short for Hercules. A decade later, Herky made the leap from paper to the playing field, debuting on the sidelines at Kinnick Stadium in 1959.

Check out our photo gallery from Herky’s scrapbook showing just how far he’s come since those early years. And read about the rich history of the Hawkeyes’ mascot in this 1998 story from the Iowa Alumni Magazine archive when Herky turned 50.


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One Comment

  1. Lois KAY Weede
    Posted August 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    The original drawing by Dick Spencer just returned to Iowa City…How do I know? Because that picture hung in the home of my sister-in-law all these years…Her name is Bunny Havlicek, a nursing student many years ago at IOWA. Bunny is now 98 years old. Her husband, Frank Havlicek, who was assistant athletic director in charge of ticket sales in the early 50′s at IOWA, always said that Herky was his idea and his friend Dick Spencer came up with the drawing.
    I met my husband at IOWA in 1955, we married in 1956 at IOWA, and I graduated from IOWA in 1958! Always proud to say: Go HAWKS!!

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