'Faurotcious' wins contest to name Alumni Center tiger

Friday, March 4, 2011 | 8:42 p.m. CST; updated 12:21 p.m. CST, Saturday, March 5, 2011

COLUMBIA – The bronze tiger in the Reynolds Alumni Center lobby has a name — “Faurotcious.”

It was chosen out of 376 entries as part of a contest organized by MU alumnus Bruce Loewenberg with the Alumni Center Student Board. Loewenberg donated the tiger to the university.

“He wanted to use the contest as a way to promote school spirit and promote pride,” said Logan Hampton, senior board member.

Students and alumni were able to submit their entries to win a gift card to the book store and $500 to donate to a MU program of their choice.

Sarah James, a senior business management major, entered the winning name. She said she wanted to mix the attributes of a tiger with an influential person.

The name “Faurotcious” combines the last name of football coach Don Faurot with the word “ferocious.” James said the name came into her head and stuck.

“This was a great way as a senior to leave my parting gift,” she said.

James was honored at a small ceremony Friday at the alumni center. She donated the $500 to the Alternative Spring Break program.

Judges also considered the name “Chester” in honor of Chester Brewer, the founder of homecoming. They also liked “Harry” as a companion name to MU’s mascot, Truman the Tiger, said Robin Wenneker, a contest judge.

Not all of the entries honored an influential person in MU’s history. Names like “Brad Pitt” and “Simba Gold” were among the entries.

Other names referenced MU’s rivalry with the University of Kansas, including “Peter Jayhawk Eater” or “Ol’ Jayhawk Breath.”

In the end, "Faurotcious" impressed the judges the most.

“I thought it was clever,” Wenneker said. “It matched with the tiger, but it was word play because of Coach Faurot.”

“Faurotcious” has been unnamed at the alumni center for about 15 years. In that time, scores of people including children and brides have taken pictures with it, said Todd McCubbin, executive director of the Alumni Association.

“We’ve got to give him a name,” he said. “He’s part of our family now.”

Loewenberg said he did not originally intend to donate the tiger. He collects statues and paintings of tigers and became interested in getting a bronze tiger after seeing one in Hong Kong.

Years ago, he was planning to build a house and intended to have the tiger on a pedestal near the entrance. Meanwhile, he loaned it to the alumni center, and when the house was never finished, the tiger remained.

Last year, Loewenberg decided to make it a lasting donation.

“He has a permanent home now,” he said.

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