Rammin’ with Rhody through the years
Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862
In the 1920s, he was given the name Battering Ram, the live mascot of Rhode Island State College. For big games against foes like Connecticut, it was common for students to paint Battering Ram’s horns blue.
As the decades passed and Rhode Island State grew into the University of Rhode Island, his name was changed to Ramses. By the 1960s, the mascot was represented by a student who dressed in a costume.
Now known as Rhody the Ram to thousands of alumni and sports fans around the world, he has his own Wikipedia entry. Everyone has their favorite memories, whether they are of Rhody sliding down the stairs on a plastic sled at storied Keaney Gymnasium, or seeing him put an inner tube over the St. Joseph’s University Hawk to stop him from flapping his wings. That misdeed earned Rhody a scolding from the NCAA, a national audience on ESPN and a Rhode Island Monthly cartoon.
The stories seem endless—Rhody shooting baskets during halftime at the Ryan Center, holding up a huge janitor’s mop to distract an opposing player at the free throw line, dancing at center court along with the Ramettes at what is now the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, greeting smiling kids and posing for pictures with them, prowling the sidelines at Meade Stadium and generally bringing that indomitable Rhody spirit to University events. He’s been dressed in a tuxedo for appearances at the Winter Gala and the Distinguished Achievement Awards and has been on hand to kick off some of URI’s largest building projects in the last decade.
Selected the mascot in 1923, The Ram made its first official appearance in 1929 when Rhode Island State College played Connecticut.
His look has changed numerous times in his 86 years, but his blood has always run Keaney Blue. Here are some other highlights:
February 2004 – Division of University Advancement publishes Cooking with Rhody, A Collection of Recipes from the Division of University Advancement. Thrity-four staff members contributed 150 recipes. Proceeds for the sale of the book benefited the Rhody the Ram Endowment, established to provide financial support to student mascot volunteers who give tremendous amounts of time to generate spirit at athletic contests and other University events.
June 2004—First Rhody the Ram Yard Sale to benefit the endowment. The 6th Annual Yard Sale will be held this spring. Through cookbook sales and the yard sale, about $30,000 has been raised for the endowment. In addition thousands of pounds of food and clothing have been donated to agencies that serve the needy in our area through the annual event.
March 8, 2008--Rhody the Ram celebrates 85th birthday at men’s hoop game. Fans sing Happy Birthday to Rhody.
Feb. 25, 2009 –Rhody shows off his new costume, with a bright smile and buff physique. Arrives at Ryan Center in limo as paparazzi surround him for that perfect photo.
Other Rhody news:
A Rhody the Ram Chat
with Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement"
greeted with rousing ovation"
New-look Rhody to take center stage
at Ryan Center, Feb. 25"
And about the Rams' win over Dayton...
Takes Down Dayton 93-91 in Overtime"