Willie the Wave

"Willie the Wave" Photo Gallery

The story of the Pepperdine mascot is long and complicated. Just like any school, since its beginning, Pepperdine constantly sought after a mascot that embodied the spirit of its student body. When one mascot idea didn't take off, a new one arose. And although the story of the Pepperdine mascot has hit some valleys (like when Willie the Wave was portrayed as a "large jug of water" or a student in a wet suit and goggles, or when Pepperdine didn't have a mascot from 2003-2006), the story does have its hills. No matter what, the spirit of Pepperdine remains constant for all to see. And Willie the Wave is here to stay.

Roland the Wave (1945-1950)
Roland appeared first on print in a Graphic in 1945. His name comes from the cheer the students used to yell during games: "Roll on you Waves! Roll on you Waves!" Roland seems to have first appeared in physical form at a Pepperdine football game in 1946.

Roland Wave
1945 Roland the Wave (Print)
Roland Wave
1946 Roland the Wave

Joe the Pelican (1951)
Joe the Pelican appeared in a Pepperdine t-shirt at a football game in 1951. An article appeared in the next week's Graphic (the Pepperdine student newspaper) with Joe's picture and a plea to students to make him the new mascot. The idea caught on, but apparently the care of it was "too expensive and troublesome."

Joe the Pelican
1951 Joe the Pelican

Willie the Wave (1952-1996)
Willie the Wave started appearing at George Pepperdine College sporting events in 1952. The first rendition of Willie went to the wayside. But when Pepperdine moved from Los Angeles to Malibu in 1972, Pepperdine introduced the second rendition of Willie the Wave to students. He was dubbed "the Fur Ball, "the Hairy Smurf" and "Old Carpethead." The third version of Willie, sometimes referred as "Mac Tonight," took over in 1992. But he didn't stay long.

Willie the Wave
1952 Willie the Wave
Willie the Wave
1972 Willie the Wave
Willie the Wave
1992 Willie the Wave

King Neptune (1996-2003)
King Neptune was introduced to Pepperdine on October 14, 1996 at "Midnight Madness" inside Firestone Fieldhouse. King Neptune was a part of an Pepperdine effort to better market Pepperdine Athletics.

King Neptune
1996 King Neptune

Willie the Wave (2006-Present)
Willie returned to Pepperdine on October 21, 2006 at "Madness Entourage" inside Firestone Fieldhouse. After a 10-year absence, Willie is here to stay.

Willie the Wave

2006 Willie the Wave 2017 Willie the Wave


Pepperdine Mascot Contact and Tryout Information


Katie Ristow, Mascot Director
Pepperdine University
Department of Athletics
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
Phone: (310) 506-6018
Fax: (310) 506-7459
E-mail: katie.ristow@pepperdine.edu

You must be a current Pepperdine student to work as the Pepperdine mascot. "Willie the Wave" is a very energetic, mobile, goofy, outgoing, positive and spirited mascot. The mascot job also requires a lot of time and dedication (Willie appears at all home events for men's basketball, women's basketball, men's volleyball and women's volleyball, in addition to select home events for other sports, University functions, community events and postseason play). Students working as Willie will be paid per appearance. Please e-mail katie.ristow@pepperdine.edu if you are interested in trying out to be Willie the Wave.


If you would like to request Willie to appear at an event, click here to download the Appearance Request Form.  Fill out the form and then email it to Danielle Byrd at katie.ristow@pepperdine.edu.

Pepperdine Waves
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