Big Rapids, Mich. - One of Ferris State University's most recognizable images, the school's official Bulldog logo, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this fall.
The logo, which has served as Bulldog Athletics' official mark since 1979, received acclaim as Michigan's "Best Sports Logo" back in 2013 and has represented the university and Bulldog Nation proudly for the last 40 years.
Ferris State's "Bulldog" logo was created in 1979 by FSU alumnus Terry Davenport and later touched up by Ferris State's University Advancement & Marketing team in 2011.
To commemorate the 40th year, a special Bulldog anniversary logo has been developed and will appear during football Homecoming festivities next week and at select times over the course of the fall in a variety of areas such as game programs, website, social media, on video boards and more.
"The Bulldog logo is recognized across the country and we're honored to help celebrate its 40th anniversary this fall," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "It has had a lasting impact on our university and athletic department and is proudly worn and displayed by staff, fans and alumni in addition to our student-athletes and teams."
Davenport created the logo as a graphic design student at Ferris State back in 1979 while working in the school's sports information office when his father, Dean Davenport, was then the school's Athletic Director. He eventually went on to work in a variety of marketing roles with some of the nation's top brands such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, Pepsi, Arby's and Starbucks among others.
"It's awesome to see the logo still being used and representing Ferris so well," said Terry Davenport. "The goal was to create a more feisty and determined logo that would stand the test of time and I believe it has done that for so many years."
The Bulldog logo received nearly 50,000 online votes during six rounds of competition back in 2013 to win a week-long online fall poll as Michigan's Best Sports Logo conducted by the Detroit Free Press. The mark was pitted against the state's top high school, collegiate and professional logos with Ferris State's Bulldog emerging on top after beating the Red Wings, Tigers, Lions and more in the competition.
"We're very proud of the logo and it has been neat to see it displayed all over the world with the success we've had, certainly lately on the national level," Dean Davenport said. "There's no better example of the Ferris State hands-on approach to learning than having had a student create the university's official logo and I believe that same approach still applies today."
The Davenports' were on hand last Saturday night when the nation's second-ranked Bulldog football team faced Central Washington in Ellensburg, not far from Terry's current home in Seattle. They appeared as halftime guests on the Bulldog Sports Network's radio broadcast in addition to recording a video interview and reflected on the 40th anniversary of the logo, which continues to appear on Bulldog apparel, uniforms, helmets and countless other items.
"The primary thing we wanted to accomplish back then was to create something that would stand the test of time and be unique to Ferris," Terry said. "We wanted to make sure our logo was feisty and determined and looked different than the other Bulldog marks out there and represented that fighting spirit. One of the last things we did was put the "F" on the collar and that certainly made it distinctively Ferris State's.
"It was a long time ago and to watch the Bulldog logo continue to show up on a national scale with the success the university has had is outstanding," he added. "It's a thrill to see the Bulldog alive and well and still barking."
Visit this link for a video interview with Terry and Dean Davenport: