Pacific University is home to a legendary mascot — a mysterious dragon-like creature named Boxer. Boxer has represented Pacific's spirit, pride and honor for over a century, ever since a bronze Chinese statue was gifted to the university back in 1896.
Through the years, Boxer has stood as a beloved symbol of Pacific community and an embodiment of cultural diversity.
"He’s a strange tradition and the spirit of Pacific. He’s their mascot, their emblem, the love of their life."
— The Oregonian, November 1950
To this day, our mascot continues to inspire the students and community of Pacific University to embrace the Boxer Spirit.
Our Boxer Mascot Today
The original Boxer mascot was a bronze statue coveted by the students of Pacific University.
Different student groups would often battle for possession of the statue in good-natured scrimmages called scrims for short, or, more often, "Boxer Tosses."
Boxer would appear during Boxer tosses, sometimes disappearing for years at a time, but always showing up again somewhere on campus when he was "flashed" for students to see.
In 1969, the Black Student Union, who felt alienated from the majority of students, gained possession of Boxer in a spirited Boxer toss.
The original Boxer hasn't been seen since.
As the years have passed, a few pieces of Boxer have been recovered, often with the help of alumni.
Occasionally, rumors on Boxer's current location surface. Perhaps, with the help of dedicated alumni and students, the rest of Boxer will eventually come home as well.
What is Boxer?
Members of the Pacific community often hear the question, "What exactly is Boxer?" At first glance, Boxer may look like a dog, perhaps with the scales of a dragon and the hooves of a goat.
Boxer is most likely a qilin (pronounced "chee-lin" or "ki-rin"), a mythical Chinese creature with a lion-like stance, a unicorn-like horn, and deer or ox hooves from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). During this period, qilin were often represented with a dragon head, fish scales, ox hooves and a lion's tail. Qilin are good omens, said to bring wisdom and prosperity to whomever they watch over.