Boise Junior College opened its doors in the fall of 1932 amid the Great Depression. The college's first class, 78 students taught by 15 faculty members, chose the mascot.
Students wanted something that paid homage to the college's western character and to the wild horses that roamed the Owyhee Canyonlands, according to university historians.
The plush Buster we know today had a predecessor.
Students began an annual tradition in 1936: building a papier mache horse, which they named Elmer. As you can see in photos (link through this story at idahostatesman.com), Elmer might have been two-dimensional, but he was huge. Giant. He towered nearly as tall as a two-story building.
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Students would burn him to the ground after homecoming games.
Elmer's heir, Buster Bronco, was ranked third on the Sports Illustrated Power Mascot Rankings in 2007. He was a candidate for the Capitol One Mascot of the Year for the 2008-2009 seasons.
Anna Webb: 377-6431