Campus News

Bethel mascot reveals identity

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Mascot_CROPPEDThe Bethel College mascot, known as Wilhelm, was a popular subject of conversation during the 2014-15 school year as students spent the year trying to guess who the pilot actually was. Few people knew the mascot’s real-life identity; it was kept secret. “I feel like people wanted to know, and for such a long time I didn't tell anybody,” said recent Bethel graduate Jeffrey Santos. “I mean, I didn't even tell my brother or my roommates. I decided it was time. I wanted to leave Bethel with a good memory. It was like a last hurrah.” On the evening of Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, nearly one year after the mascot’s first appearance, he made his identity publicly known. “No one cared who I was until I put on the mask,” wrote Santos, captioning the photo which he now proudly displays as his Facebook profile picture. “Thanks BC, it was a party.” In an interview with the Beacon, Santos said the secret identity was “the one thing that attracted me to doing it because it’s not like every day you get to do whatever you want without people knowing who you are.” Santos said that keeping his true identity secret was helpful in boosting his confidence. “Since that was my main motivation, the fact that nobody knew who I was, I would have lost confidence if anybody knew,” he said. Santos graduated on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Since he is no longer posing as the mascot, he was allowed to reveal his identity. However, a bit of mystery still surrounds the identity of last year’s mascot. “I was not the only mascot this year,” said Santos. “There was another person who would fill in certain events that I couldn’t go to, and I didn’t even know who that person was.” Still, the question remains: who will be Santos’s successor as the new Bethel mascot? “It was a pleasure to kind of start off the year facing people’s maybe standoffish attitudes against Wilhelm,” said Santos. “It was a pleasure to develop the character. Wilhelm’s a good guy and I would encourage anybody to try to fill his shoes back up because it’s a lot of fun.”
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