Grover: Though the term can refer to any group of Grove City College students, it originally described a freshman girl who had been kissed by an upperclassman boy on Rainbow Bridge.
Ouija: Most Colleges today do not publish a yearly yearbook for the student body and faculty. As class sizes increase and interest diminishes, schools have found publishing yearbooks a difficult to tradition to maintain. However, Grove City College has published a yearbook since 1912 even in difficult times such as World War I, the Great Depression and World War II.
The College yearbook was originally named the Ouija, a term dating back to 1891 which was compounded from French, ‘Oui’ and German ‘Ja,’ both meaning ‘yes.’ Although most associate the term with the board game used to supposedly communicate with spirits, it was also used in the literary community. During the early 1900s, the Ouija was a term frequently used by the literary world to refer to a work as an ‘inspired, channeled and guided piece of literature.’ Many literary journals and reviews used on this title as well as Grove City College’s yearbook. It remained the Ouija for 71 years changing to the Bridge in 1983.
The name change came primarily due to the resurgence of the board game and the negative connotations associated with conjuring spirits. Because of this, the College and student body decided to attach a new name to their book, a name that would resonate with students and Grovers alike. They choose the Bridge, referring to Rainbow Bridge, one of the most iconic symbols on campus. Since 1912 the College students have compiled and produced a yearbook that is sold to the student body. Each yearbook serving as a printed time capsule of student life for that year.
GeDunk: the GeDunk was originally housed in the Alumni Hall where the Career Services Office is located today. Now located in the Breen Student Union, students and visitors can go to purchase a chicken tender wrap (a campus-wide favorite) or select a specialty coffee from the new Starbucks order counter. The term ‘GeDunk’ originated during WWII. In the U.S. Navy, the service men would refer to the canteen or snack bar as the GeDunk Bar or Geedunk bar. It refers to an a la carte snack bar or soda bar. When Alumni Hall was built, the snack bar was named by the returning GI’s.
Willie the Wolverine: For years, Grover’s have cheered on their Grove City College Wolverines and probably have high-fived Willie the Wolverine, the College’s mascot, at least once. Although the Wolverines have been a staple at GCC for quite a while, the wolverine has not always been synonymous with Grove City College.
The concept of the wolf has been present with the town of Grove City, Pennsylvania since its founding in 1798. At that time in Pine Grove which later became Grove City, wolves could commonly be seen along the creek, hence giving it the name Wolf Creek.
The wolves were not clearly associated with Grove City College until a new seal was adopted in 1911 baring three wolf heads. These wolves became a symbol of the College and was based in-part on the proximity of campus to Wolf Creek.
Although the Wolf was officially a symbol of the institution, it was not yet associated with College athletics. The unofficial mascot for some time was Pal, the well-known bull dog. He served as mascot from 1922-1934 and lived with Mrs. Walter King but sadly was lost in a house fire in 1934. Pal was replaced by bull dog Bugsie. A stuffed animal version of Bugsie is housed in the College Archive.
Starting in 1925, occasional references to the wolf pack, wolves or wolverines were made in regards to Grove City College athletic teams. However, the term ‘Wolverines’ did not become prominently used until the 1940s.
Our beloved mascot, Willie the Wolverine, made his first appearance during the 1948 Homecoming game. Willie was decked out in a football uniform donning number 86 and a wolf’s head. The creator and first Willie was Rev. Richard S. Beidler ’51, often called Dick “Willie” Beidler who sadly passed away at the age of 88 in 2016. His legacy of Willie the Wolverine lives on and will continue to serve as a symbol of school spirit, good nature, friendliness and sportsmanship. Upon graduation, in order to keep the Willie tradition alive, Beidler handed down his football uniform and wolf head to Dr. Richard A. Morledge ’54. In 1951, to insure that Willie was here to stay, the Student Government Association approved a petition of Charter and signed by President Weir C. Ketler, to preserve the Wolverine as the College’s Mascot. From then on Grove City College athletic teams were known as the Grove City College Wolverines.
The Quad (Olmsted): Since the founding of Grove City College in 1876, originally Pine Grove Normal Academy, President and Founder Isaac Ketler (1876-1913) envisioned the College campus extending uphill to the opposite side of Wolf Creek. Third President Weir C. Ketler (1915-1956) made his father’s vision a reality. The College asked the Olmsted Brothers Company in 1930 to help design the upper campus with the goal of building in a beautiful neo-gothic style. The Olmsted Brothers Company was an influential landscape architectural firm that designed notable campuses and parks around the United States such as the National Mall in Washington, D.C. and New York City’s Central Park. The Olmsted firm, under the direction of the main architect, Carl Rust Parker, worked with Grove City College to design the upper campus. The quadrangle “quad” would be the center focus with buildings facing inwards and the campus overlooking Wolf Creek and lower campus. Everything on campus would then be an extension of that inner quadrangle.
Dink: Today, students have Orientation Board taking care of the freshmen but until 1970, students took part in different freshmen traditions. Each freshmen had to dress alike: men in white shirts and black pants and women in white shirts, black skirts and white tights. They had to wear little hats called dinks and a sign that stated their name, hometown, dorm room, and Resident Assistant. They also had to greet all upperclassman and had to learn and perform songs and dances at the football games.
Creeking: Starting in the late 1970s and perhaps one of the most iconic Grover traditions of late, creeking occurs when a male Grover gets engaged to a fellow female Grover. After the couple gets engaged, the man is captured by a group of his friends, carried to the creek amidst “Wolf Creek” chants and thrown in the water under the bridge. The fiancé usually brings a towel (and a camera) and is waiting on the bank for her newly creeked fiancé.