Last September, David Audley ’93, director of alumni and parent relations, began a discussion about WU’s mascot in the “Director’s Forum” of WU News. He commented on the University’s current mascot, Blitz, and called for the University to “Bring back Barney!” Many alumni posted responses on the message board both for and against this suggestion. Several asked just what happened to Barney in the first place, and a few replied that Barney had retired and has been residing in various locations across the United States.
Matt Smucker ’04 and Barney the Bearcat, Dona Suspension Bridge, Maolin National Park, south central Taiwan.
However, eye-witness accounts confirm Barney has actually been traveling the globe since leaving Salem, and he’s been spotted by WU alumni near and far. Matt Smucker ’04 recently ran into Barney, in the Maolin National Park in south central Taiwan. He sent us a picture (right) and story:
“We were hiking along a trail and heard a loud splashing from the river nearby. Peering through the bushes, we saw a strange animal bathing in the cool mountain waters. It was about 90 degrees Fahrenheit that day, so we thought for a second about jumping in to join him. He must have sensed a kindred spirit, an affinity for cardinal and gold, because as we continued down the trail, he started following us. As we reached the suspension bridge we stopped long enough to meet this strange but friendly character and were thrilled to find it was Barney the Bearcat, alive and well!”
Where in the world is Barney now? Look for future issues of The Scene and WU News to bring you the latest on the whereabouts of the original Bearcat.