Wittenberg University’s catch phrase “Tiger Up” has now been trademarked by the college.
The phrase, originally coined by Hall of Fame coach and athletics department administrator Dave Maurer in the 1960s, was recently designated with a Federal Trademark Register by Wittenberg University.
Tiger Up serves as a rallying cry to inspire and encourage generations of students-athletes to step up their game, raise their standard of play and discover what they are capable of achieving.
“Tiger Up is Wittenberg’s battle cry, and that’s why we chose to pursue this trademark,” said Brian Agler, vice president and director of athletics and recreation. “The phrase has a long history of use by members of the Wittenberg family, including alumni, students, fans, and others across the campus community, and it carries great meaning and pride.”
Agler added: “History has it that Coach Maurer used this phrase to motivate, challenge and inspire his student-athletes. Since then, it’s gained popularity, and it has become a very meaningful term to so many of us.”
The university’s first intercollegiate athletics teams were actually not known as the Tigers, and the officials colors were not red and white. From the 1890s through the 19402, the teams were unofficially known as the Fighting Lutherans or were referred by their uniform colors of crimson and cream.
The first reference to Tigers happened in 1921 when a newspaper headline referred to the football team as the “Tigers of the West.” Then in 1946, art student John Norris created a cartoon for the Torch, the university’s student newspaper, that depicted the life and times of Atom, the “atomic tiger,” who represented school spirit and the tenacity of the teams and student-athletes.
The Tiger mascot then began appearing within a decade on the sidelines during games and at other campus events, and its name was changed to Ezry in honor of the university’s founder and first president Ezra Keller. During this time is also when intercollegiate teams arrived on the national scene and won the first NCAA championships in school history in 1961 for men’s basketball and 1962 for football.
“Since then, Wittenberg has been home to one of the most successful small college athletics programs in the country,” said Ryan Maurer, senior writer and web communications specialist.
The Tiger teams have won nine team national championships across four sports, three individual student-athletes have claimed NCAA titles, student-athletes have earned more than 500 All-America awards, and teams have won more than 200 league championships.