The Symbols of St. Bonaventure University

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The Bona Wolf

A committee was formed to determine a replacement for the disastrous Bona Fanatic.  The Bona Wolf was conceived for the Fall 1998 season.  A front page Inside Bona's article states that the new mascot "Will lend a strong image to the program, something that had been missing in recent years." Furthermore, University President Wickenheiser goes on to say, "The image of a wolf captures a feeling of competitiveness and aggressiveness which are not only appropriate attributes for our mascot, but also speak qualities in our students which suggest achievement and the perseverance to succeed. The new mascot captures this spirit well."  The first appearance of the Bona Wolf was in the Feb. 16, 1999 basketball game versus the University of Rhode Island.  The logo and mascot were formally introduced in a pep rally on Sept. 14, 1999.

Since the introduction of the Wolf, the general popularity of Bonaventure's school mascot has risen. Students approve of the Wolf and it is much more admired than its retired friend the Bona Fanatic. When creating the idea for a wolf Dr. David Diles, Vice President and Director of Athletics, said that the wolf had qualities that the school wanted to show in its mascot. "Some of the qualities that the committee examined in looking at various mascot possibilities were that it be aggressive, yet friendly; leaner and more athletic than previous representations, and something that would help us develop a great primary trademark and image."


The mascot has ties to the Franciscan tradition that friars of the school live upon. Legend has it that St. Francis of Assisi tamed a fierce wolf at Gubbio, Italy. Thus, this new mascot would also help to represent the religious aspect which is so closely related to St. Bonaventure University itself. When one walks into the administration building on campus an engraving of Francis and the wolf that he tamed is above the main staircase on the right.

As the tradition of the wolf has grown, it has endured, along with the rest of the school, dark times. But there have been many more bright days and the school mascot is here to stay and grow with the school and student body. The Bona Wolf has gown to stand for much more than a mascot, it has become a symbol of strength for the University and those intertwined with it.

The Brown Indian

The Bona Fanatic

Brown and White


Page created by David Patt; St. Bonaventure University, for History 419 (Computer and Archival Skills for Historians),

Last updated:  12/12/12  
St. Francis & the Wolf added 12/6/07 by D. Frank, Photo by Kyle Wimann
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