Boxer Stories and Recollections

The symbol of Boxer means a variety of things depending on who you ask. Over the years, Boxer has lived in the memories and recollections of hundreds of alumni, students and faculty.

Students with Boxer, circa 1940s

On this page are just a sample of the wealth of Pacific students' and staff's stories involving Boxer:

Margaret Hinman 1891

In the late 1940s/early 1950s, Boxer was a guest at a Philo sorority May Day breakfast.

One Philo recalled, "Miss Margaret Hinman, class of 1891, just screamed when she Boxer come in, and tears streamed down her face and her hands just shook! Boxer was put on the table in front of her, and the tears just streamed, and soon everyone else was getting tearful. All of us were allowed to go over and touch the dog."

—from Pacific Today (Winter 1976).

James Tumbleson '29

James Tumbleson had a part in flashing Boxer from an airplane. He remembers that the late Mrs. Harry Giltner of Forest Grove allowed Boxer to be hidden many times in her home. At one time President Dobbs asked Tumbleson and his friends to loan Boxer to him for the faculty dinner at his home. The president guaranteed "the safety of the Dog at the door."

Al Lemcke '36

In the mid-1930s Al Lemcke '36, of Vancouver, Washington, was one of a group of Pacific students who obtained Boxer from an alumnus school teacher in Clatskanie without the teacher knowing Boxer was gone. The group took Boxer to the Oregonian office in Portland where the late L.H. Gregory  '10, long-time Oregonian sports editor, wrote a story and had a photo taken for the next day's Oregonian. The school teacher in Clatskanie was shocked when he read the Oregonian that morning. He thought Boxer was still safely stored in his car.

Duane Waln '49

The most spectacular "flash" of Boxer during those years — possibly '43-'44 — totally disrupted the staging of a long forgotten play. The balcony of the assembly room in Marsh Hall where the play was being performed had been converted into small piano practicing rooms with a narrow walkway providing access to the rooms. Anyway the Alpha Beta flashers leaned over the remaining railing and shouted "flash!" I wasn't there; so I'm not quite sure how they illuminated the "dog," but that it was a daring flash by just a few guys was evident. A vehicle was seen edging away from the back of Marsh Hall and then speeding away as quickly as it became possible. Every one, figuratively naturally chased after the departing vehicle.

Boxer, though had been placed inside an upright piano and wasn't undramatically retrieved until the small hours of the morning, the speeding car being a total ruse!

Ken Little '51

Provided by Ken in the spring of 2011 from the Portland Oregonian (published November, 1950).

The Lucky 13 of Pacific University currently possessors of the school’s inanimate mascot, a 500-year-old Chinese idol whom they call Boxer, keep a restraining hand on his much welded hide, damaged in a half century of fights for traditional glory of possession. Boxer, Pacific University’s fabulous Chinese idol responsible for more black eyes and bruised shins than even the school’s football games, has new custodians. Secure in the hands (some skinned knuckles) of 13 students who call themselves the lucky 13. A group from Phi Beta Tau fraternity, the 22-pound antique—scarred, battered, welded and minus his plumed tail—was flaunted on downtown streets in Portland last week. As they got braver the lucky 13 will show him in Forest Grove, historically and perennially the free-for-all battle for possession of the bronze dog. He’s a strange tradition and the spirit of Pacific. He’s their mascot, their emblem, the love of their life. The lucky 13 won him in a magnificent, good-natured campus brawl a week ago Sunday and will keep him until they in turn decide to “flash him." That’s what the Gamma sigma fraternity did October 31 after a year’s possession. It’s an honor to have held him.

Boxer, a much-welded (they frequently pull him apart) bronze Chinese prayer god and now valuable as an antique, came to the university a half-century ago. He is many hundred years old, was once a Chinese household God. He was presented to Pacific in 1896. Currently the lucky 13 are looking for his tail. They think they know who has possession of it. Poor little Oriental poodle, the scramble for him, a passionate undertaking always for so many years of Pacific tradition, will doom him to many masters. He has already traveled to several points in this country and Europe and once was suspended many months in a gunnysack in the Willamette River.

Alice Hoskins '56

Alice Hoskins of Forest Grove and formerly a Pacific staff member remembered a weekend in the early 1950s when she went home to Vernonia and was so disappointed when she came back to campus to learn that she had missed a Boxer flash. Within a few minutes, however, she found that the large overstuffed chair she was sitting on had Boxer stuffed under the big pillow.

Pete Truax '69

"Nobody knew how Boxer would arrive...but when an automobile entered the main campus driveway, the crowd braced itself for the big moment. As it turned the corner into the Marsh Hall parking lot, the gathering broke into polite laughter. It was just Mrs. Myrtle Smith, former dean of women and widow of Dr. D. Otis Smith, the long-time head of the department of history. With her was Mrs. Russell Roberts, wife of the department of English chairman. The two elderly ladies circled the lot in apparent confusion, to the continued entertainment of the students. But suddenly the automobile stopped and out of the trunk jumped Gamma Sigma President Pete Truax '69 with Boxer."

- From Pacific Today (Summer 1968).

Bruce Fleskes '87

It was one of Alice Hoskins' sons, Bruce Fleskes '87, who cut the new Boxer from a tree on campus where he had been mysteriously chained. This was the first general appearance on campus of the "new Boxer."