Since the institution was founded in 1909, it has been situated atop “College Hill,” a large hill on the west side of Claremore, overlooking the community below. From College Hill, you can see for several miles in any direction.
For almost 100 years, the institution on College Hill has symbolized quality education for area residents. Eastern University Preparatory School began operating in historic Preparatory Hall on College Hill, just two years after Oklahoma was granted statehood.
The mission of the school was to prepare the sons and daughters of Native Americans, farmers, ranchers and other area residents for entry into the colleges and universities of Oklahoma. Since then, the institution has evolved into Rogers State University, one of the premiere regional universities in Oklahoma.
Hunter the Hillcat
The university’s official mascot, the Hillcat, is a unique blue and red animal that serves as a source of campus pride and provides a visual identity for the university’s Athletic, Student Activities, and other school spirit programs.
The Hillcat embodies the enthusiastic, determined and bold spirit of the university’s athletic programs and the pride our students and alumni feel for the institution. The Hillcat is a fictitious cousin of the bobcat, which is indigenous to northeast Oklahoma.
The Hillcat also draws its name from College Hill, a traditional nickname for RSU. The university sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Claremore.
The name Hillcat was conceived independently by a group of RSU students in spring 2005, and approved by the University Mascot Committee, Student Government Association, President, and Administration. The Hillcat was developed and officially unveiled to the campus in 2005 by the university’s Office of Public Relations with the assistance of SME Branding of New York, N.Y.
The Hillcat had a lot of things going for him: great looks, a wonderful fan base and awesome athletes to cheer for. One thing, however, that the giant red-and-blue cat was missing was a name. In 2009 through an online voting contest, the Hillcat was given the name of Hunter. Hunter the Hillcat now sports a jersey emblazoned with his name.
Fear the Claw
Not long after Hillcat men’s and women’s basketball was introduced at RSU, the home court at the Claremore Expo Center quickly gained a reputation as a formidable venue for opponents.
As a member of the Hillcat team aligns himself or herself on the free throw line, the crowd at the Expo Center extends one arm skyward and makes the sign of the claw with their fists. If the shot falls successfully, arms descend in the manner of the scratch of a ferocious wild cat.
As members of an opposing team prepare to shoot a free throw, the rowdy RSU student section has been known to intimidate the shooter. Depending on the shooter’s fortitude, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t!
“Fear the Claw” is well known by RSU students, home team fans, visiting teams and their fans.
Rise above the Claremore valley
Camelot to view,
Stands our gracious alma mater
Thrusting t’ward the blue.
Lift the chorus, speed it onward
For the Red and Blue,
Hail to thee our alma mater
Hail to R-S-U!
Hillcats of RSU
Standing tall in Red and Blue
We will prevail
We refuse to fail
Because our spirit’s great
We wear our colors proudly
On our way to victory
Go Rogers State!!!