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Sparky the Sun Devil is the official mascot of Arizona State University. Former mascots include an owl, a "Normal" (named for the Tempe Normal School), and a bulldog. In 1946, The State Press, ASU’s student newspaper, ran frequent appeals urging the bulldog mascot be replaced with a Sun Devil. On November 8, 1946, the student body voted 819 to 196 to make the change. On November 20, 1946, the student council made it official. Two years later, alumnus and Disney illustrator Bert Anthony designed "Sparky," a devil holding a trident (colloquially referred to as a pitchfork). Anthony is rumored to have based Sparky's facial features on those of his former boss, Walt Disney.
The original Sparky the Sun Devil mascot wore a silk jumpsuit with a long tail and carried a pitchfork. This pitchfork, or trident, is still carried by Sparky today to ensure ASU’s rivals “Fear the Fork.” The pitchfork logo can also be seen on the helmets worn by the Arizona State Sun Devils football team.
Palm Walk dates back to 1916. Located on the Tempe campus, Palm Walk is the most popular corridor and is lined with palm trees reaching heights of over 90 feet.
One of the easiest ways to recognize a Sun Devil is by seeing them sport the Fork ‘Em Devils hand sign, the universal sign of ASU pride. This hand gesture is widely used by those associated with ASU and is an extension of the trident that Sparky carries.
ASU has fielded a football team since 1897. The Sun Devils are currently led by head coach Todd Graham and play their home games at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
With graduating classes well into the thousands each year, many Sun Devils choose to stand out and show something unique about themselves by decorating the top of their graduation caps, such as with the flag of their home state. How will you decorate yours to show your ASU pride?
The Arizona State Sun Devils football team competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the South Division of the Pac-12 Conference. Famous Sun Devil Pat Tillman (#42) began his college career as a linebacker for ASU and later played professionally with the Arizona Cardinals before leaving football to enlist in the U.S. Army shortly after the September 11 attacks.