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Courtesy: BSU Photo Services

Charlie Cardinal

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
Release: December 11, 2006
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Charlie Cardinal has served as the official mascot of Ball State University's intercollegiate athletics program since 1969.

In the fall of 1969, the first tryouts were held for Charlie Cardinal.  The original Charlie was portrayed through a paper-mache, feathered, smiling Cardinal head piece.  Over the last 44 years, Charlie's appearance has changed five times.

After the 1969 original Charlie, the 1970s version included a fiberglass head and red suit with yellow leggings. 

In the mid-1980s, the costume changed to feature a body suit in red feathers, while the head piece grew in size and appearance.

In 2006, the suit was replaced with a new, slimmer suit to allow for comfort and greater flexibility.  The new Charlie Cardinal suit is similar to those worn by professional mascots for ease of movement, sight and comfort.

The head was updated in 2012 to help with agility and breathe-ability. Also, Charlie's feet were updated to smaller talons to help with mobility.

The spirited host of Ball State, Charlie Cardinal is an ambassador for the university as he makes guest appearances around the state of Indiana and the nation.

For more information on Charlie Cardinal, or to inquire about Charlie appearing at your event, contact Kevin Thurman, Graduate Assistant, at or (765) 285-8392

Also, attached is the Policy and Request form for further information about Charlie Requests.

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