From the archives: Travels with Boxer

Exhausted combatants for Boxer lean on a tree in this undated photo. Archives.

Originally published Spring 2008

Pacific’s curious dragon-dog mascot, missing since 1969, may have been found while the replica takes a road trip.

Share this

One member of the Black Student Union, citing Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” told the Index at the time, “You don’t see us, but you sure see that dog—and you won’t see it any more.” The original has not been seen since. Recently, though, tantalizing evidence that the original Boxer may have been located has been received. 

Flash forward to 1982. Students Kim Smith, Linda Parker and Janet Leashen arranged to have a new statue cast, in hopes of giving school spirit a boost. Then, in 1992, the serious injury of football player Eric Ross (who later died of the injury) contributed to the end of the football program. In addition, a head injury suffered by a student during the Boxer toss that year resulted in the practice being banned upon pain of criminal prosecution.

School spirit—and enthusiasm for Boxer—has waxed and waned in the meantime. Billy Merck ’98 told Croshere ’07 that he and his roommate had Boxer at home on top of a water heater for at least a year in 1997-98, and no one seemed concerned about its whereabouts.

They seem to care now. After Croshere completed his movie last year—his senior project—he decided to take Boxer on an extended U.S. road trip and write a blog along the way. He took photos of the campus mascot in Las Vegas, Detroit, Washington D.C. and many other places during his 41-state, 16,000-mile journey. (See Dean Croshere's Blog) Some students were upset that he took Boxer II out of town. Letters to the Index and a petition called for the icon’s return.

Croshere, a member of the Gamma Sigma fraternity, which flashed Boxer at the opening of fall term, is back in Forest Grove and said that his whole reason for taking the mascot was to spark more school spirit. “[Some students] called me selfish, and I suppose it was, but it got people talking.”

Croshere had planned a big event in March to include a peaceful toss in the form of a trivia contest. He said he had lined up business sponsorship and had Boxer out for photos to give to sponsors when two young men ran up, grabbed the statue and took off with it. The tradition continues. Boxer is on the road again.


Related stories from 2008:
Has the Original Boxer Been Found?
What Is It?
From Ore to Iron

From 2012:
The tale of Boxer's tail

Reader memories:
From 2007-08


From Ore to Iron

Originally published Spring 2008

Exploring the physical origins of the statue

Has the Original Boxer Been Found?

Originally published Spring 2008

In 2008, rumors suggested that the original Boxer was in the hands of an alumnus. 

What is it?

Originally published Spring 2008

Exploring the origins of Boxer