DALLAS — Misericordia University will celebrate 30 years as Cougars Saturday with a full day of activities built around a basketball doubleheader with FDU-Florham at the Anderson Center.
The events are being billed as the 30th birthday for Archibald “Archie” McGrowl, the name of the Cougar mascot that was unveiled in January, 1986.
The university and its athletic department have reached out to alumni and current students to commemorate the event. Among those expected to return are Msgr. John Bendik, the campus chaplain who served as the master of ceremonies the day the teams changed from Highlanders to Cougars, and Sister Martha Hanlon, the Dean of Students at the time the decision was made.
Misericordia corrected an error on its website that had referenced the nickname change as occurring in 1987. Maria Pallante, the student government president at the time, supplied a series of documents for the school’s archives last year to confirm the history.
“We researched it and she provided all this documentation from when it actually happened,” said Scott Crispell, assistant athletic director for media/community relations at Misericordia. “We thought, ‘it’s a 30th anniversary coming up, maybe we’ll have a birthday party.’
“That was about six months ago. Now, here we are.”
The current basketball teams’ doubleheader will coincide with alumni basketball games.
The women’s alumni game is scheduled for 11 a.m., followed by the women’s-men’s doubleheader at 1 and 3, and the men’s alumni game at 5 p.m.
There will be a reception for alumni student-athletes throughout the day at the Anderson Center. Archie McGrowl’s will be recognized at halftime of both games against FDU-Florham with cake and the singing of “Happy Birthday”.
There will be 1980s-themed music and trivia.
“The Residence Life Office is on board to try to get some of the current students involved,” Crispell said.
Since the Cougars mascot was created, Misericordia University joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom League, added more than a dozen new athletic teams and upgraded its facilities, including building the Anderson Center.
“Much has changed,” Crispell said.