WuShock is a big, bad, muscle-bound bundle of wheat. He's been WSU's mascot since 1948, a friend to every Shocker fan and the No. 1 supporter of all things Wichita and Wichita State.

WuShock sculpture

8-foot WuShock sculpture planned for WSU campus YMCA

WSU's main campus will soon be home to a larger-than-life sculpture of WuShock at the entrance plaza of the new YMCA and Student Wellness Center, thanks to Steve Clark – a longtime Greater Wichita YMCA board member, volunteer and donor – for whom the area’s tenth YMCA branch location will be named.

Local artist Wade Hampton worked with WSU Athletics and Clark to capture his vision in sketch form, and sculptor Connie Ematt is in the process of transforming the drawing to the final bronze sculpture. Stay tuned for the installation and dedication event date!

WuShock Gallery

  • This was the purrrrfect opportunity for Wu to meet some feline fans. Taken at the Kansas Humane Society.
  • Is it a tu-tu or a Wu-tu? Whatever the case, Wu had a great time shooting this TV spot about WSU’s presence in the local art community.
  • Wu couldn’t choo-choo-choose a better way to spend a morning: dedicating K&O railroad’s “Wooo Shock,” a 262,000-pound Shocker-themed locomotive.
  • Wu's 5,000th Facebook friend was super surprised when he made her day—and the she made the news. Taken at Northwest High School.
  • Wu and Gregg Marshall representing Shocker Nation—to the entire nation—on SportsCenter.
  • #TBT - Wu partying outside of Lindquist. Check out the Wu-Themed floats starring in the background.
  • Wu playing hoops at halftime in Henry Leavitt Arena (now Charles Koch Arena).
  • Shocker fans are found in all age groups—and all eras. Taken at Old Cowtown Museum.
  • Snowy weekend morning + hill = fun. Taken at College Hill Park.
  • There’s no measuring how much Wu loves fall. #PSL
  • Wu belly dancing on campus in the early 1980s.
  • Wu was all business during this photo/video shoot touting WSU’s Barton School.
  • Wu hanging with fellow Shockers on campus in 1991.
  • Wu is a wonderful mascot—and his Wonder Wu halloween costume shows it!
  • Wu cheering at Henry Levitt Arena.
  • @WheatTweet and Trish are one of Wu's favorite couples ever!
  • Shocker junior Wilbur Elsea brought Wu to life in 1948, and freshman Jack Kersting coined the name “WuShock.”
  • It’s not chocolate, it’s “Shockolate”— WSU-themed chocolate produced and sold through WSU-alumnus-founded Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates.
  • Wu Celebrating his 60th birthday with thousands of friends and fans (cake for everyone!).
  • Wu posing with Sluggerrr at Kauffmann Stadium in Kansas CIty was a dream come true for Wu—he's a huge Royals fan.
  • Wu never misses a game!
  • Wu bringing the hype.
  • Remember WeeShock? Here Wu and her are cheering on WSU's football team at a home game against Northern Illinois. Cessna Stadium, October 1980.
  • Here Wu is in his awkward adolescent phase, way back in 1954.
  • Wu testing out aerodynamics inside the Beech Wind Tunnel at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).
  • Wu holds hands with a fan during the National Anthem at Henry Levitt Arena in 1976.
  • Wu drops off a donation at Kansas Food Bank, way to flex those community service muscles, Wu!
  • Wu preparing Thanksgiving dinner for his family.
  • If you know campus, you know about our large, lovable squirrel population. Here Wu poses with a furry friend celebrating them on official day Squirrel Appreciation Day.
  • Wu wanted to try out Virtual Reality, but the glasses didn’t fit!
  • Wu spent the day with Cessna employees to celebrate the local aerospace industry.
  • Wu can make anyone feel better!
  • WSU’s 1982 football team gathers around an inflatable version of Wu at homecoming game versus New Mexico State University on October 16.
  • What’s Wu's favorite music? The soundtrack to Shocker Athletics, of course.
  • Earhart Elementary rolled out the red carpet for Wu.
  • Wu gives blood too!
  • Man with Cane, Woman with Umbrella and me with a pirate costume. Taken outside of Jardine Hall.
  • I’m stoked for Shocker Sound Machine—WSU’s new indoor, fast-paced, high-energy marching band.
  • Wu dressed like the King in this Halloween costume!
  • See Wu on campus? Ask for a pic or a #selfie.
  • Wu's favorite part of the job -- watching students graduate.
  • Connie Ernatt working on a Bronze sculpture of Wu Shock.

 Read more about Wu


Origin story
Proto WuShock Courtesy

WuShock in his awkward adolescent phase.

Wichita State University, formerly Fairmount College, received its first mascot name about the time it received its first football coach. Tradition has it that in 1904, football manager and student R.J. Kirk needed a name for the team in order to advertise Fairmount's upcoming engagement with the Chilocco Indians. He came up with Wheatshockers.

At the time, many Fairmount football players earned tuition and board harvesting, or "shocking," wheat during the summer harvests, so the name seemed appropriate. Early football games were played on a stubbled wheat field. Pep club members were known as Wheaties.

Although the Wheatshockers name was never officially adopted by the university, it caught on and survived until it was later shortened to Shockers. Until 1948, the university used a nameless shock of wheat as its symbol.

WuShock came to life in 1948, when junior Wilbur Elsea won the Kappa Pi honorary society's competition to design a mascot typifying the spirit of the school. Elsea, who had been a Marine during World War II, decided that "the school needed a mascot who gave a tough impression, with a serious, no-nonsense scowl."

Once Elsea's mascot was adopted by the university, which by that time was known as the Municipal University of Wichita, all that was needed was a name. The Oct. 7, 1948, issue of The Sunflower, the student newspaper, ran an advertisement urging students to submit names for the school's new mascot. It was freshman Jack Kersting who suggested the winning name, "WuShock."

A very special birthday

In 1998, WuShock, also referred to as "Wu," marked his 50th birthday by undergoing a redesign and getting a pumped-up physique and revved-up attitude. The mascot's costume has changed over the years, as well. With the redesign, a new costume was introduced in fall 1998. In fall 1999, the head of the new costume underwent another redesign after a number of supporters suggested the mascot needed a more intimidating look. (In 2005, this version of WuShock was singled out by Sports Illustrated as one of college sports' worst mascots.)

Getting a makeover

Wu got one more facelift in 2006, owing mostly to the unwieldy costume's top-heavy tendency to exhaust and endanger its human component. (Yes, there is a person inside the costume.) The new Wu looks strikingly like the image on the logo, and is gradually endearing himself to his legions of fans.