Team: University of Notre Dame
The Notre Dame Leprechaun became recognized as the official mascot of the University of Notre Dame in 1966, six years after it was introduced to complement its equally mischievous predecessor, the Irish Terrier. Until nearly a decade ago, those who portrayed the clever green character were required to grow a chinstrap beard and be under a certain height, which limited the role to male students for most of the Leprechaun’s history. Now, the position is open to any student who exhibits the ideals they are called to represent: zeal and passion for the University of Notre Dame and all that it stands for. Considered an arm of the Notre Dame Cheerleading Team, theLeprechaun is unique compared to other live human mascots in that those who portray it also define the character. Typically, there are four students in any given year chosen to don the infamous green suit, and each Leprechaun is distinct from the next. Those who portray the Leprechaun role are called to embody a unique Irish spirit with an authentic history and a meaning rooted deeper than race alone. For these reasons, the Leprechaun possesses an unparalleled sense of humanity, allowing the role to serve a higher purpose – that of the University’s mission – in every game, event, and appearance.