University of Louisville Mascot

University of Louisville Mascot

The Cardinal Bird and the school colors of red, black, and white were suggested to the athletic department by Ellen Patterson, wife of Arts and Sciences Dean John Patterson, in 1913.  The Cardinal was selected because the northern cardinal is the state bird of Kentucky.

The Cardinal Bird does appearances at sporting events and other community activities. He is a member of the cheerleading squad and was presented with the National Cheerleaders Association’s Most Collegiate Mascot award in 2004. At that time, the costume was worn by Jason Wade. 

The mascot’s nickname is “Louie” in honor of the school and city. Sometimes his name is abbreviated as “C.B.”. 

If you are interested in scheduling an appearance by Louie, click here to submit a request.

The First Costumes

The first known costume was made by a Home Economics faculty member named Frances Goldsmith in 1953. The first person thought to have worn a Cardinals costume at a University of Louisville event was T. Lee Adams. The below picture was taken in 1955 and is considered to be the first documented example of the mascot. Courtesy of University of Louisville Library Archives.

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