Hutchinson in Reno County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Story of WuShock
Wichita State University
It was 1904 when Wichita State University was known as Fairmoun[t] College that R.J. Kirk (Class of 1907), a football manager, invented the name "Wheat Shockers" for posters to advertise a game against the Chilocco Indians. It was shortened to "Shockers" as Wichita State teams are known today.
Kirk had put the word "Indians" under the name Chilocco and a press agent for the Wichita Fall Festival, helping to publicize the contest, demanded that Kirk should produce a nickname for Fairmount to balance the poster.
In those days, when wheat was shocked or headed, the majority of the players earned a stake for college expenses by working all summer in the harvest and threshing and came back tough enough to play 60-minute games.
Wichita University students of the art department were invited by Kappa Pi art fraternity to compete in the creation of a design to typify the school spirit. Walter Lengel's design students were given the assignment as a requirement of his class. The entries were to be judged by members of the student publications board. The contest was wide open...no theme was established.
Wilbur Elsea, a junior who had been a Marine during World War II, decided that, "the school needed a mascot who gave a tough impression...with a serious, no-nonsense scowl". And his design for WuShock was adopted.
But the story does not end there. Dave Johnson, a WU cheerleader, changed the mascot from ink into flesh and blood in 1954. He and members of the art department brought WuShock to life as a costume.
Location. 38° 4.598′ N, 97° 55.714′ W. Marker is in Hutchinson, Kansas, in Reno County. Touch for map. Marker is on the Kansas State Fairgrounds, just north of the Eisenhower Building. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2000 North Poplar Street, Hutchinson KS 67502, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Wildcat Evolution (here, next to this marker); Gus Gorilla (here, next to this marker); Victor E. Tiger (a few steps from this marker); The Legend of Corky the Hornet (a few steps from this marker); The University of Kansas Jayhawk (a few steps from this marker); Man's Last Footsteps On The Moon (approx. 0.9 miles away); Citizens Bank (approx. 1½ miles away); Whiteside Building (approx. 1½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hutchinson.
Also see . . .
1. WuShock: A True Original. (Submitted on February 1, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Look Who's 60: WuShock. (Submitted on February 1, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Kansas State Fair. (Submitted on February 1, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Wichita State University. (Submitted on February 2, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Education • Entertainment • Sports •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 1, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 805 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 1, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.