© 2021 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A new new Billiken? SLU says it listened to critics

The new Billiken mascot introduced in September 2016.
Bill Barrett/provided by SLU

The new Saint Louis University mascot is turning out to be a lot like New Coke.

After the revamped Billiken was introduced last month to a barrage of criticism, with adjectives like “petrifying,” “terrifying” and “the laughing stock of the nation,” SLU President Fred Pestello took to Twitter Tuesday to hint broadly that the new Billiken is in for big changes.

The Twitter video has Pestello visiting the St. Louis Zoo, clipboard in hand, and asking animals from a seal to penguins to a reluctant lion for input on what revisions should be made.

Traits he asks about include being lovable, popular, entertaining, competitive and unique.

“I can’t wait to bring the new Billiken mascot here,” Pestello concludes. ”I think I know what we need to do now. Stay tuned.”

The video closes with the words: “We listened.”

A SLU spokesman confirmed that the university is “pursuing changes to the mascot,” though the new Billiken logo will remain unchanged. He said there is no timetable yet and the school is still researching possible options.

Follow Dale on Twitter: @dalesinger

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.