The semester after I graduated high school I attended Indiana University Southeast. I truly enjoyed my time at the New Albany school and instantly started to get a little annoyed in the fact that IUS is often overshadowed by larger schools in the area.
None the less, I learned during that time about an important sports icon in southern Indiana athletics. That of the Grenadier, indeed the mascot of IUS, I’ve often offered conjecture that a mascot is a direct representation of a school and the Grenadier represents the hard working and courageous individuals who founded the school and who suit up with the IUS name in varying sporting events.
I do have to come clean here when I heard that their mascot was a grenadier I had absolutely no idea what that meant, in fact IUS is the one and only university to have that mascot.
Essentially a grenadier was a soldier in the early colonization of the United States. Now, the university actually dates back to 1941, of course the grenadier came later.
The story in relation to the mascot selection goes that soldiers actually settled on the New Albany campus prior to the school being built there years later. Others suggest it was merely suggested by a history professor at the school who had studied British history in detail, more than likely that’s probably what it was, but the former story is just much more entertaining so I’m going with that one.
Either way the idea of a soldier does reflect a certain “get the job done” attitude that is prevalent on the fields and campus of IUS.
The chiseled chin of the Grenadier wasn’t the first option though, when the school was establishing its mascot students were given the chance to submit their choice which was, and I’m not making this up, a river rat. No doubt a nod to the Ohio River, however that mascot lacks a certain majestic quality let’s say so the student’s suggestion was voted down and the Grenadier was born.
Image courtesy of Mascots.com