What Is the Mascot of NYU?

Although "Violets" serves as the nickname for the sports teams at New York University, the bobcat became the school's official mascot in 1984. The violet and white colors of the university inspired the team's name and original mascot, but the school decided it needed a tougher-looking mascot than a flower.

The bobcat came from the cartoon character that helps students navigate the catalog at the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at the university, which opened in 1973. Once the school opted to change its mascot, students suggested fiercer images, including Vikings and Vanguards, but the school wanted to demonstrate a link between athletics and the academic side of the institution.