C4L Since 1918: The Evolution of Loyola’s Mascot

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Initially founded as St. Vincent’s College, Loyola High School did not always use the lion cub mascot. Initially, St. Vincent’s College’s mascot was the Saint, and the school brought it out strictly for sporting events.

Archivist Neil Bethke said, “In the early years as St. Vincent’s College from 1865-1911, the school competed as the Saints versus teams such as Los Angeles High, Pomona College and USC among others.”

The Saint was the mascot of the St. Vincent’s College because Saint was in the name of the school. School mascots were not usually named after animals in the early 1900s. For example, the USC Trojans used to be called the USC Fighting Methodists.

Bethke said, “Having a formal animal as your mascot really comes during the 20s. The whole image of the big football games, and the rah-rah, and all the excitement about college football didn’t start until the 1920s.”

In 1918 St. Vincent’s College was renamed Loyola College. The school still retained college and high school divisions. Around this time the mascot changed from a Saint to a lion.

Afterwards came the creation of the Loyola College Lions. As the school changed, so did the mascot. The idea to call Loyola High School students Cubs has stuck ever since.

Principal Frank Kozakowski said, “The college’s mascot was always the lion. Because we were the ‘little kids,’ we became the ‘Lion Cubs’, and then it got abbreviated to just ‘Cubs.’”


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