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Buckingham U. Badger (the U. stands for U; it’s his full middle name) was christened by popular student vote, conducted in 1949. The moniker mastermind was Bill Sachse ’50, and he also led the effort to create a Bucky mascot. The UW’s teams had been called Badgers since the 19th century, but up until the 1940s, there was no real consistency to what a “Wisconsin Badger” should look like. In 1940, Brown’s Book Store (where students bought their textbooks) commissioned what we know today as the Bucky logo. And nine years later, Sachse — and his friends Connie Conrad and Bill Sagal ’51 — created the first Bucky costume. They then ran an election so that students could vote on a name for the newly live-action mascot: name candidates included Bouncy, Buddy, Bernie, and Bobby. Alliteration, apparently, was the absolute aspiration. Buckingham won, though Sachse implied the election wasn’t entirely fair. In 1999, he admitted to the Wisconsin State Journal that he and his friends stuffed the ballot box. “We knew we wanted the name Bucky, but the contest entries weren’t hitting the mark.” Bucky made his debut at 1949’s Homecoming game, a victory over Iowa.

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