C Jay back for centennial celebration of the Jayhawk

The Centennial Jay, or C Jay, is presented to the Allen Fieldhouse crowd during a timeout in the first half of the KU vs. MU men's basketball game on Saturday, Feb. 25. The mascot from 1912 is complete with shoes “for kicking opponents.”

Henry Maloy would certainly approve.

The cartoonist for the University Daily Kansan in 1912 created the first official visual depiction of the Jayhawk, a smiling, big-beaked, spindly-legged design complete with shoes “for kicking opponents, of course,” according to an online university history of all things Jayhawk.

And on Saturday, Maloy’s creation sprang to life at the Kansas-Missouri game. Centennial Jay (or just C Jay for short) joined Big Jay and Baby Jay as Kansas University’s third mascot.

Maloy’s Jayhawk itself lasted until 1920, when it was replaced by a more dour and more birdlike creation sitting atop the letters “KU.”

The mascot won’t be a permanent addition to KU’s mascot lineup, though. Jim Marchiony, KU associate athletic director, said C Jay will only be around for this year.

“It’s something to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Jayhawk,” he said.

Kansas Athletics, the Kansas Memorial Unions and the KU Alumni Association are involved in determining how the new mascot will be used, he said.

The current plan calls for C Jay to flutter around at various special events and other occasions throughout the year.