This week in Buff State History: Changing the mascot name from a fruit to a carnivore

Staff Reports

The Buffalo State Bengals weren’t always the Bengals. Before December 1969, Buffalo State athletics sported the nickname the Orangemen.

In an article posted on Dec. 3, 1969 called ‘Orangemen become Bengals,’ the Record explains how the came about with the name Bengals.

“On Monday, Dec. 1, the Buffalo State Orangemen opened their regular season with the first basketball game against Toronto University, yet when the second half began, the Orangemen had turned into Bengals.

“How does one account for this sudden transformation from a harmless fruit to a ferocious tiger? For school authorities the change was hardly difficult.

“They just felt that the old nickname (Orangemen) was kind of trite and in need of improvement, and, after a vote, it was decided that all future athletic teams would be called Bengals.”

The school held a campus-wide competition on who could come up with the best design for the new school name. Susan Salazar was the creator of the original Bengal logo. And by the way, the all-of-a-sudden Bengals won the game, 94-59.

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