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Whether he’s busy spinning his head in the endzone of TCF Bank Stadium or scooting around campus on a moped, Goldy Gopher is a national treasure—er, should we say, a University-wide treasure. But where did all of this gopher business begin?

The origin of our golden mascot

Although the Goldy mascot we know and love hit campus lawns in the 1940s, the University’s first tie to gophers came when Minnesota was dubbed the “Gopher state” in 1857.

In the 1930s, the University of Minnesota football team became known as the Golden Gophers, and 1952 brought the first Goldy mascot when an assistant bandmaster bought a fuzzy wool suit and asked one of the marching band members to climb into it. Thus, Goldy Gopher was born. Learn more about the origin of Goldy Gopher on the College of Liberal Arts History and Traditions page.

Goldy through the years


Goldy 1954


Goldy 1977


Goldy 1990


Goldy 2019


A newly minted tradition on campus has to do with rubbing Goldy’s teeth, more specifically those of the statue in front of Coffman Memorial Union.

Goldy Sighting: Where can you find him?

Sure, Goldy is commonplace at many University-wide sporting events, but at what College of Science and Engineering events could you spot him?

Visit the CSE college-wide events page to learn more about our events.