An industrious group of Iowa State University students, which included pep council president Chuck Duncan, brainstormed in 1954 about ways to build school spirit. The Pep Council got the go-ahead from ISU alumni director “Red” Barron, sports information director Harry Burrell and Cyclone Club director Ray Donels to pursue the creation of a mascot.

Since a cyclone was difficult to depict in costume, a cardinal was selected from the cardinal and gold of the official school colors.  A cardinal-like bird was introduced at the 1954 homecoming pep rally. A contest was conducted to select a name for the mascot, and the winning entry of Cy was submitted by 17 people.  The first to submit the name, Mrs. Ed Ohlsen, won a cardinal and gold stadium blanket.

Interesting in having Cy come to a party or gathering of yours? Visit our "appearances by Cy" form.