Everyone has seen our college's mascot roaming the student section at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, leading our hockey players onto the ice at Schneider Arena, and being the personification of a Friar Fanatic at Late Night Madness.
Providence College's first mascot, a Dalmatian named "Friar of What-Ho," was purchased by the Friars Club and introduced at a Providence football game against Niagara in the fall of 1935. The choice to use a Dalmatian was one close to the heart of the Dominican brothers who founded the school. The pope even refers to the Dominicans as the "watchdogs of the Lord." Aside from appearing at Friars sporting events, "Friar of What-Ho" was looked after by the Friars Club and the Dominican brothers. He could be seen on walks around campus, becoming a fast favorite of both fans and students.
After the "Friar of What-Ho" passed on in 1937, a new Dalmatian was brought in to be the guide for the Friars on the field, on the diamond, and on the court. "Friar Boy" became the new name for the lovable dog that the Friars Club and the Order of Preachers kept at the top of Smith Hill in Providence. Four generations of Friar Boy lived on the College campus. With the death of Friar Boy IV in 1963, a new representation of the Friar spirit was established.
The first Friar was brought onto campus soon after the death of Friar Boy IV, making this human representation of a Dominican brother the new face for Providence athletics. He was a rather jolly fellow who, with a wide smile and even wider belly, resembled the lovable Friar Tuck from the Tales of Robin Hood. He soon became more widely known to the state of Rhode Island when he began to roam the court at the Providence Civic Center and skate the ice at Schneider Arena. Student sections at both Schneider and the Civic Center contained an inflatable Friar to complement the live-action Friar during this time period as well.
With the 75th anniversary of the founding of the College, the Dominican brothers decided to bring back a live Dalmatian to patrol the sidelines at Friar athletic games. Friar Boy V was introduced on January 16, 1993, when he moved into St. Joseph Hall with his caretaker Brother Kevin O'Connell, O.P., the moderator of the Friars Club. Friar Boy V was seen at Brother Kevin's side around the PC campus as well as at basketball and hockey games. A student member of the Friars Club was selected to take care of Friar Boy V along with Brother Kevin. This was a great honor and aspiration of many students. In addition to the live Dalmatian, a large Dalmatian mascot was created that could skate and shoot in front of crowds at Schneider Arena and the Dunkin' Donuts Center, respectively.
Friar Boy V passed on in 2001 and was mourned by the Providence students and fans alike. With this void to fill, a new Friar mascot was created. First appearing on the scene without the giant inflatable resemblance in each student section, he has been given a more serious appearance than the large, jovial Friar of the past. A few minor cosmetic changes later, we have the current incarnation that represents the fulfillment of the student section group, "Friar Fanatics." Recently, the Friar has appeared on ESPN's "This is SportsCenter" commercials as well as the SportsCenter Top-10 Plays for his on-court antics. He has become the true face of Providence College that the whole nation can recognize, devoted to his school and his athletic teams. Whenever he appears on the campus at the top of Smith Hill, at the Dunk, at Schneider Arena, or anywhere else in the state of Rhode Island, a true Friar Fanatic cannot help but to stop, smile, and let out their loudest yell...
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