As students we sometimes get so caught up in our classes and our social lives that we forget what a rich history Weber State has.

Weber State’s history dates back to 1889, when we were first established as Weber Stake Academy, a school of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Our school has gone through multiple name changes since them. From Weber Stake Academy we became Weber Normal College. Yes, you read that right, normal. I had a hard time believing that we had the word normal in our name, but it was typical for teacher colleges at the time.

According to the Weber State website, in the early 1900s, our name was changed to Weber College and in the 1930s, the LDS church transferred the college to the state. But Weber didn’t become a four-year college until 1964. Then in 1991 it gained university status and its current name, Weber State University.

Our mascot Waldo has some interesting history as well. I bet you didn’t know that Weber kept a live wildcat to bring out during games. Look it up. It’s right on the WSU website.

As the story goes, the wildcat, who was kept in a cage, bit the nose of cheerleader Judy Freeman. I kid you not, this did happened. After the incident the tradition was discontinued and the wildcat was put down.

After finding such intriguing facts I wanted to learn more about the history of our school and other facts I would not normally have learned.

Waldo standing on Weber State Homecoming float from 1949. (Courtesy of Weber State University Archives.)
Waldo standing on Weber State Homecoming float from 1949. (Courtesy of Weber State University Archives.)

During World War II Weber hosted the Polygamist Prance, a girl’s choice dance where students could attend with multiple dates. It was a decent solution to the lack of men on campus, because the war had them all deployed.

This got me thinking about what it would be like if we held a dance where students would attend with multiple dates. That dance could definitely get awkward.

Not only does Weber have some pretty astounding traditions and facts, but we also have some amazing alumni.

J. Willard Marriott,  yes, that Marriott, of the international hotel chain, graduated from Weber in 1923. How many of you have a phone plan with T-Mobile? Ernest L. Wilkinson, the former CEO of T-Mobile, is among our alumni as well.

Knowing more facts about the university made me feel even more grateful that this is the school I chose to attend. I already bleed purple, but now that I know more of the fun and unknown facts, my pride has almost doubled.

Wildcats, take the chance to learn all the cool facts about Weber and show your pride!

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