Hatched in 1948 by University of Iowa journalism professor Dick Spencer III, Herky has evolved much over the last several decades. One thing remains the same, however: our mascot is beloved by the campus community and far beyond.
An original drawing of Herky by Spencer is on display in the Main Library Gallery’s current exhibit, We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa. Community and Student Life Archivist Aiden Bettine shares the basics about Herky’s origin in this short video:
A 2016 Old Gold column written by David McCartney, university archivist emeritus, provides more detail about the mascot contest and the gift of original Herky drawings to the University Archives. 48 original drawings by Dick Spencer III were donated by Bernice “Bunny” Havlicek and her daughter Jane Roth in 2016. These are available to view online through the Iowa Digital Library.
We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa was curated by David McCartney, Aiden Bettine, and Denise Anderson. It will be on view until July 3, 2022. A virtual tour is also available online.
Learn more about the Main Library Gallery here: lib.uiowa.edu/gallery.