March 25, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 92  

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Purple Pipe: Western’s beloved mascot J.W.

Diana Fleming/Gazette
“RECOGNIZE THIS POSE? IT’S FROM ROCKY.” Western’s mascot J.W. hams for the camera while he bemoans his lack of a fifth digit on either hand.

With the Western sports season finished Gazette Sports had to get a little creative with this week’s selection for the Purple Pipe.

However, that doesn’t make our recipient any less qualified. This week’s winner is someone whose achievements have gone unnoticed every week, and who felt very vindicated to get the recognition after so long.

This week’s winner is Western’s own beloved mascot, J.W.. The award is especially significant, since this year marks the 20th anniversary of J.W.’s tenure at Western.

J.W. was the brainchild of the University Students’ Council in 1984 when they ran a contest to design a mascot for Western. The contest was open to all students, faculty and staff. The winning bid was submitted by David Lee Tracey, Western’s current cheerleading coach.

In 1992 the design was changed into the current formation of JW that we have all come to know and love. Originally, J.W.’s appearance was not as happy and approachable. But after some sensitivity training, he became the likeable character he is today.

J.W. has had a number of accomplishments throughout this season. From regular appearances at Western football games to Mustang kids club events, he has been seen all over campus.

J.W. also grabbed headlines earlier in the year when he endorsed the San Diego Chicken for entry into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, J.W.’s endorsement was not enough and the Chicken remains mired in mediocrity.

J.W. was also a regular addition to the Western cheerleading team. For all his accomplishments, J.W. is a worthy recipient of the Purple Pipe.

—Ian Denomme



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