Boxer Bits & Pieces

As Boxer was passed around the student body during the spirited "Boxer Tosses," pieces of the statue often ended up in different places.

The complete Boxer statue disappeared in 1969, but a few bits and pieces have returned home to Pacific University.

“Years of battling have taken their toll on Boxer; his tail is missing, and various parts of his body have been torn off in the struggles.”

—The Oregonian, May 30, 1943

Over the years, a few alumni have returned pieces of the statue. Pacific University is now in possession of a few of Boxer's pieces, including the tail, an ear and a hoof— all that is left of the legendary Boxer statue.

The largest piece recovered, the tail, was returned in 2012 by an alumnus of Pacific University. As time passes, perhaps more bits and pieces of Boxer will be returned home.

Boxer Bits and Pieces Summary History

These references to pieces of Boxer broken off in fights was compiled from clippings, letters and other sources in the Pacific University Archives Boxer Collection.

  • The tail was probably first broken off in 1911
  • The tail was reunited with the body (not clear if it was welded on or just loosely attached) off and on between 1911-1925
  • From 1925 to about 1934, the tail appears to have been in company with the body, though it may have been loosely attached rather than welded on
  • From 1934 to 1950, the tail was separated from the body. A student named Lee Prangle seems to have had possession of it from around 1940 through at least 1948.
  • In 1949 according to one report, the tail was reunited with the body, but other reports state that the tail remained lost and had not been seen for many years
  • In 1950 the tail is reported being “passed around among the alumni.” No definite reports of the tail again through the late 1960s were found.
  • In 1960, the first report of an ear being separated appears: “Jack Liles [an Alpha Zeta] now has one of Boxer’s ears.”
  • In 1967, a student on campus says the rumor is that the “Phi Lambda Omicron sorority has either a tail or a leg.”
  • In 1969, Boxer disappears from campus
  • The largest piece of Boxer recovered, the tail, returns to campus in 2012

Detailed History of Boxer's Bits and Pieces

1911-1925          

“In 1911 he was seen in the chapel for only a few minutes. A terrific fight followed and poor Boxer was broken into three pieces, and it was not until the class of 1918 secured all three pieces that he was again entirely in the possession of one class. Since that time he has been separated and put together and separated again among different classes until  [in 1925?] the class of 1929 had him made whole, let us hope for all time to come.”

—1929 Yearbook

1911-1914

“In 1911 he was placed back in the chapel, but remained only two hours. In the fight that followed, he was broken into three pieces. It was not until the fall of 1914, after many nights of stealthy research, that the head, leg and body were rewelded together.”

—The Oregonian, May 30, 1943

1912-1914

“Boxer was first separated from his appendages in 1912 [*note: probably should be 1911] when his tail and one front leg were torn off in a class scrimmage, as they called it then. The classes pooled the parts and had a picture taken at the 1914 Junior Class Party, but the dog was broken apart again within weeks, the frosh taking the body and two separate groups of juniors taking the leg and the tail. He was reunited in 1914, the same year that the freshmen first got their rook lids. In November, 1914, his body was taken out of the Herrick Hall woodbox wrapped in a pair of overalls, and the leg was found in the attic of a home in the Forest Grove area.”

According to "A History of Boxer," written in 1962 by the Blue Key Honor Fraternity

1919-1925? 

A letter from Greta McIntyre Sheeley written around the 1980s about Boxer states:

“The sophomores (Tom Fowlers class) had the tail [in about 1919]. Later Glenn (Red) Sheeley and Al Schneider were freshmen and the[y] stole the tail from the sophomores and later got Boxer from the seniors. These are the pictures [from 1925?] you [published] in the Fall 1980 Pacific Today […] Notice in these pictures Boxer has a tail.”

Around 1921

“The Sophomores fought for, hunted and won all three parts of the famous emblem of P.U.’s spirit. […] One of the Seniors supposing the house to be surrounded ran back inside to hide the head and tail. Other Sophs were soon summoned […] [remainder of article missing]”

—From an undated article in The Index

1930

A photo taken from this time period shows Boxer with tail intact.

1934

“[Boxer is] now in the custody of these three husky football stars. The group that last had the bronze dog must now give up its tail, which hooks on for state occasions, but is too unwieldy to carry around. […] For the past year it has been in the hands of Errett Hummell, a graduate who is teaching at the Clatskanie high school, but he lost it last week […] Now Hummell must give up the bushy tail that belongs on the idol, but which is unhooked except on state occasions because of its weight.”

The Oregonian

1943

“Years of battling have taken their toll on Boxer; his tail is missing, and various parts of his body have been torn off in the struggles.”

The Oregonian, May 30, 1943

According to "A History of Boxer," written in 1962: “[In 1943] his front legs were broken off, but the new owners promised a better weld job.”

1947

“During the half-century struggle for possession of the animal, at one time or another his legs, head, tails and body have been disjointed so that now much of the pup is made up of welding rod. Whoever, the 23 inch idol is easily recognized by the many initials and names scratched on his rough, bronze, old body by former owners.”

Pacific University News Release

1948

From an Alumni news article, regarding the September 1948 toss:

“Here the front leg broke off the dog […] The missing leg was later brought back to the fraternity and welded on, but the tail is still not yet back with the dog.”

According to a history of Boxer written in 1962, regarding the same toss:

“The Alpha Zeta Fraternity came up with the dog, all except one leg, which was kept by Buzz DeVito ’49, who later gave it to the frat to be welded onto the body. The Index soon announced that Lee Prangle ’48, who had gained possession of Boxer’s tail some ten years before, refused to return the tail as long as the AZ’s had possession of the dog.”

1949

“He seems to bear up quite well, however, considering that one or all of his appendages have been broken off on several different occasions and all have been successfully welded back on again except the bushy tail that is still missing.”

—News-Times, Sep 22, 1949

According to "A History of Boxer," written in 1962:

“Boxer was thrown out in February of 1949 and when the mud cleared four Phi Betes and four Gammas held possession of the dog. They all agreed on Al Daniels ’50, as custodian. Soon after this flash the tail was returned.”

[Note: Detail regarding tail might not be correct; see 1950 News-Time article.]

1950

“Present possessors assured News-Times the dog is in excellent health except for his long-lost tail.”

News-Times, Nov 2, 1950

"His head and forelegs have parted company with his torso many times. His plume tail was amputated in a bout years ago and is being passed among the alumni. Unlike Humpty-Dumpty, Boxer always gets back together again.”

Pageant Magazine

1952  

“His head, legs and tail have all been broken off and he is really scarred from his welding jobs. Except for his tail—that’s been gone for years, and no one knows where it is.”

—Ontario Argus-Observer, Dec 1, 1952   

              

According to "A History of Boxer," written in 1962, regarding the October 1952 toss:

“During the fight, Boxer’s two front legs, jaw and tail were torn off and the ‘Blind Nine’ retained possession of the pieces. They announced that no further flash would be held until Boxer was repaired.” 

[Note: the detail about the tail probably incorrect; newspaper articles from this time state the tail has been “gone for years.”]

1958        

“In the battle, Alpha Zeta fraternity acquired one of Boxer’s legs and a part of the chest and Phi Beta Tau has another one of the legs.”

Forest Grove News-Times, May 29, 1958

According to "A History of Boxer," written in 1962, regarding the May 1958 toss:

“During the fight a front leg and part of the chest of Boxer came into the hands of the Alpha Zetas. Bob Wendel ’62, a Phi Bete, got the other leg and John Mendonza ’60, a Gamma got the tail. During the mix-up Gamma Steve Tucker ’62 got the main part of the body away from the two original Gammas, Torp and Peterson. Tucker, Wendel, Mendonza and Tom Thompson ’60 got together with George Radich and had the dog welded.”

1960

The Index, on May 23, 1960 provides a detailed account of who had which part of the dog over the course of the fight. Phi Beta got one of the legs; the body was captured by the Alpha Zetas; Earl Huntington “grabbed Boxer’s other front leg” and “Jack Liles, AZ, now has one of Boxer’s ears.”

1967

"… Some students said Boxer, which was first separated from one of its appendages in 1912 and which has been repeatedly patched and welded since, was again in pieces. The [Alpha Zeta] fraternity men’s nighttime coup apparently netted them only the head and body. Other portions of the well-worn beast are held by other Greek organizations on campus. According to one student, the Phi Lambda Omicron sorority has either a tail or a leg from the statue safely locked away. Another fraternity, Phi Beta, is reputed to have either a leg or a paw from the animal.”

The Oregonian, Feb 21, 1967

1969

During a toss, Boxer was stolen by members of the Black Student Union who felt alienated from the majority of the student population. The original Boxer has not been seen on campus since.

1982

With the original Boxer still missing, a new bronze Boxer statuette is cast.

2012

Boxer's tail is returned by an alumnus and is the largest piece of the original statue recovered.

Boxer come home ... we miss you! Every piece of you.