New year, new Hendrix

On May 3, at the University of Washington Tacoma Block Party, Hendrix the Husky launched a new look. This look included not only an outfit change, but also a face lift.

Hendrix the Husky transformed into his new look on his eighth birthday — so, some may say he just grew up.

The update to Hendrix that happened this past summer came as a shock to many students, with some even voicing their concerns through social media with the hashtag #NotMyHusky. The student body was not given a chance to vote on the appearance of the updated mascot look, though a select group of staff and students worked on the design together.

Student Program Specialist Brittany Sanchez-Reed thinks Hendrix will feel like “a whole new husky.”

Sanchez-Reed also explained the school’s concerns for Hendrix during the warm Washington days.

“He was often very warm in the summertime so we set him up with a fan and a cooling vest,” Sanchez-Reed said. “Now he can dance all year round and have the best time with his pals.”

With the change of Hendrix, the goal was to also  help him resemble a dog, rather than bear, which is sometimes what the retired suit what mistaken for.

The average lifespan of a mascot suit is about five years according to SanchezReed — so for the eighth birthday of Hendrix, an update was needed.

The students of UW Tacoma haven’t always had a mascot of their own. UW Seattle has Harry the Husky, and Bothell has Holly the Husky. So, in the summer of 2008, the Student Activities Board headed up the mascot project on the Tacoma campus.  It took nine months and lots of planning, but Hendrix became a reality that following year.

With the birth of a mascot in 2009, many names circled that followed the “H” name tradition. Hendrix was finally settled on with a vote from current students, with the name Hauser coming in a close second.

UW Tacoma alumna Margo Greenman shared her thoughts on the revamped Hendrix the Husky.

“I was a senior at UW Tacoma when Hendrix made his debut, and I was disappointed in the fact that he looked like a second-rate version of Seattle’s dignified Harry,” Greenman said. “Fast forward several years, and I’m not sure Hendrix’s new look can be considered an improvement #notmyhusky.”

With some past and present students not appreciating the new look, future classes who have never met the previous Hendrix will not know the difference.

“Hendrix’s popularity has grown tremendously over the past two years,” Sanchez-Reed said.  “He is all over campus and Tacoma taking selfies and giving high fives.”

Next time you see Hendrix around campus, give him a high five and help him spread the Husky spirit and congratulate him on his new look.

COURTESY OF RYAN MORIARTY

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