Mascot receives new coat

By Maureen Morrissey

NIU mascot Victor E. Huskie has a new $1,200 coat.

The Victor E. Huskie Mange Fund, set up by the NIU Operating Staff, has collected $469 for the costume over the past three years. The NIU foundation added $750.00 to the fund to help finance the new outfit.

Jerry Pettibone, NIU head football coach, said he “likes” the new outfit, and “thinks it looks good.” The new outfit is part of the new image the team is trying to convey under Pettibone.

“Along with the new logo and having a huskie dog on the field during the games, Victor’s new look adds to the assertive attitude of the team,” Pettibone said. “This all adds to the excitement of the game.”

The costume was designed by NIU senior art major David Bimm. Bimm works part time as creative director at Facemakers, in his hometown of Savanna, Ill., where the costume was handcrafted.

However, the new costume has not been seen at recent games. Mary Mihelich, assistant athletic director for promotions and marketing, said the costume’s delay was because of needed alterations. The new costume needed to be “scaled down and made to look less fierce,” Mihelich said. Filing back the fangs and claws were among the alterations. The alterations will not cost more money, Mehelich said.

Patricia Hewitt, former NIU Operating Staff Council president, said the new costume was made possible by a “university effort that included students, student groups, faculty, and staff.”

The Operating Staff spearheaded the fund drive, Hewitt said. They also decided on the design and the production company for the new outfit.

Hewitt said the new costume looks more like a real dog rather than a caricature, as the mascot has looked in past years.