There has been renewed interest recently in our mascot, the Chinese bronze dragon-dog statue we call Boxer. The original, which was given to the school by an alumnus who was a missionary in China, has been missing since a "Boxer toss" in 1969. A replica cast with student funds in 1982 is now missing too.
When the bronze statue first arrived on campus in 1896 it was called "The Campus Spirit." Even after Index staffers coined the Boxer name, the idea that the statue symbolizes the spirit of campus continued. That's why there has always been a certain amount of anxiety when Boxer "goes missing" or indeed, when students take him on a road trip, as recent graduate Dean Croshere did last summer.
Though we remain concerned about the whereabouts of our icons, the Pacific campus spirit is something that endures no matter where Boxer and Boxer II are stashed, and no matter where we plant our flag, be it Portland, Eugene, Hillsboro or Forest Grove. Pacific's special spirit, embodied in our tradition of caring and personalized learning, lives on, no matter what we call ourselves.
That kind of campus spirit cannot be stolen, hidden or easily extinguished as long as we remain dedicated to nurturing it and passing it on for generations to come.
Please drop me a note.
Phil Creighton, President
EDITOR'S NOTE | As we were going to press with this issue, President Phil Creighton announced his retirement after five extraordinary years at the University, effective in July 2009. He made his announcement Sept. 18 at the annual State of the University address. You can watch the address on iTunesU. We'll have more on the tenure of the man students affectionately call "Dr. Phil" in the Spring 2009 issue of Pacific.