How did the University of Missouri-Kansas City land on a kangaroo for its mascot? Let’s hop back in time to find out.
The University of Kansas City (UKC) was founded in 1933. Three years later, the debate team was getting ready to compete, and they wanted a mascot — and we know how persuasive they can be.
The students picked a kangaroo after Jigger the kangaroo, who had just arrived at the Kansas City Zoo. The mascot rhymed with KCU and even made the cover of the year book.
In 1937, students formed the Kangaroo Party to push for official mascot adoption. That fall, Kasey Kangaroo (later renamed KC Roo) was born.
Then in 1938, Walt Disney responded to a student request to illustrate the mascot for a magazine. Students began replicating it, and university historians ultimately credit this drawing with the mascot’s lasting effect.
Since then, the symbol has changed a lot. Today, you can see the 2019 Fighting Roo version used for athletic branding.