Get to know our mascots Wilbur and Wilma
Daily Wildcat sports editors Jack Cooper and Amit Syal sat down with our beloved mascots and got to know a little more about who they are and what our school means to them.
Daily Wildcat: What does it mean to you to be Wilbur/Wilma?
Wilbur: To me, Wilbur is so much more than athletics. Wilbur is meant to be the epitome of what it means to be a Wildcat. He brings so much more to our campus than crazy cheers at football games. He is meant to put a smile on every person’s face that sees him. Whenever someone sees Wilbur, they should feel proud to be a Wildcat. My job is to bring pride and joy to everyone on campus and never let you forget that you are a Wildcat.
Wilma: Being Wilma is absolutely amazing and being able to make college students excited and high-five me as I’m walking around campus is really special. Even being able to be in the Tucson community and make so many people feel the Wildcat spirit means so much to me.
DW: What was it like to get hired?
Wilbur: There is a tryout process to become Wilbur or Wilma. I was a little hesitant to try out to become Wilbur at first because of the heavy time commitment and the immense pressure that comes with being the face of such an esteemed university. I tried out towards the end of my freshman year and was fortunate to get the position despite a competitive pool of applicants.
Wilma: Being hired as Wilma was one of the best days ever. I tried out to be Wilma not expecting much; it was just something that sounded exciting to me, and I knew if I did not try out, I would be disappointed in myself. When I told my parents I was applying, they were confused because that was out of the norm for me, but when I got it, they were super excited for me! Wilma has really impacted me since the day I found out I got to be her.
DW: What is the time commitment like?
Wilbur: The time commitment is definitely a lot of work. From sporting games to appearances on and off campus, Wilbur is expected to be at a variety of different things. I am also expected to attend workouts three times a week as well as weekly team meetings. I also run the Twitter and Instagram of Wilbur.
Wilma: Being Wilma is like a part-time job. We have workouts three times a week along with a weekly meeting to discuss appearances throughout the school year. We can make appointments months in advance and sign up as we are able to do them. Since we are also full-time students, we cannot miss school to do appearances, unless it is with a Dean’s Excuse. Wilma and Wilbur are also fortunate enough to travel! Some weeks, we get asked for events every day! It is exciting for all the opportunities we are given.
DW: On top of all of this, are you still a student?
Wilbur: Wilbur is definitely expected to be a student first. Even though my job takes up a lot of time, I still have to maintain good grades and attendance in class. As a part of my job, I am required to maintain at least a 3.0 GPA at a minimum to stay eligible. I am also involved in other clubs besides this and school. I have definitely learned a ton about time management and what it means to have a balance of different things.
Wilma: Yes! To be Wilma or Wilbur you have to be a full-time student with a certain GPA. If we do not maintain good grades, we can even lose our jobs.
DW: What are some of the perks of being the mascot?
Wilbur: The biggest perk of being the mascot is definitely the opportunities that come with the job. For example, I have been lucky enough to travel all across the world to places like Hawaii, New York and Peru. We also receive a lot of Nike equipment such as t-shirts, backpacks, shoes and much more. Finally, being at the center of all the action at one of the biggest sporting schools in the nation is definitely not a downside either.
Wilma: Pretty much everything about Wilma is a perk! She has given me confidence in myself and made college such a great experience for me. Being able to be a part of the cheer team and make close friends has been amazing. The only disadvantage would have to be not being able to stand in ZonaZoo with my friends as myself, but I also get to walk around the football field and meet so many fans.
DW: Favorite memory?
Wilbur: My all-time favorite memory was getting to be on Fox & Friends in Manhattan because I always enjoy any time I can represent our university in the national spotlight. I also enjoyed travelling to New York and enjoying all that it has to offer.
Wilma: My all-time favorite memory was being able to travel to Peru with UA Global. Before being Wilma, I had never traveled on an airplane or been out of the country. Wilma and Wilbur were able to travel to Peru with some deans of different UA colleges to promote the opening of a micro campus in Lima, Peru!
DW: Any last message you want to say to all of your fans out there?
Wilbur: Bear Down, Go Cats!
Wilma: Being Wilma has been life changing and I am so thankful for being chosen to serve as Wilma T. Wildcat.