History of the Knight
The University of Jamestown has drawn much attention in recent years over their mascot, the Jimmie. This is an account of how the Jimmie mascot name came about. There has been no definite claim to how the Jimmie name a trademark of the University of Jamestown, but this is one of many theories.
The University of Jamestown is an NAIA affiliated school located in Jamestown, North Dakota. The University of Jamestown has an enrollment of nearly 1000 students. The city of Jamestown has a population of nearly 15,000 and the James River splits the city. On the north end of town, the James River dam forms the Jamestown Reservoir. The Catholic church in Jamestown is even named after St. James. Obviously the name of James is a prominent name throughout the city.
The mascot name of Jimmies seemed to be a perfect fit for the school surrounded by such a connection to the name James. The University of Jamstown has used the name of Jimmies since 1925, but the knight wasn't adopted as the logo until 1962. It has been rumored that years ago a knight named Sir Jimmie fought for the good of all mankind and an unknown athlete from the University of Jamestown read about this knight. After 37 years, the Jimmies had finally found an appropriate logo for their unique name.
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This is the official story!
The Jimmie Knight
By Dr. James Conger (Class of 1963)
I can recall having a pretty vivid imagination. Even in grade school my teachers used to reprimand me occasionally for "day dreaming" in class. So, Jamestown had an impact on me, both visually, and in its visual suggestion of age. My hometown, Lakota, had celebrated its 75th jubilee not many years before, and the fact that my grandmother was older than the town just overwhelmed me! Jamestown's red brick buildings -- Taber Hall was even covered with ivy --suggested a Tudoresque architecture dating much farther into the mists of time than North Dakota's recent history. Its commanding position overlooking the city of Jamestown was also part of the magic. Watson Hall, where I lived, was built like a fortress. Taber's floors creaked even then. Orlady Hall's steam heat clanked so loudly that professors had to pause or shout over the noise. And then, there was the chapel. For a kid from a small prairie town, it seemed like a cathedral! I loved it all, and put every nook and cranny to memory.
All these impressions began to collect, and by 1961 as the Camelot years of the Kennedys were just starting, I entered my Junior year. I became more active on campus, and became involved in the JC Student Association (eventually elected as Vice President -- was it during my Senior year?).
I played in the band at all sporting events, too. I began to notice that the "Jimmies" (a nickname I shared with the College) had no form, no mascot, like the UND Sioux, and most other schools anywhere. How odd! A faceless Jimmie. What would a Jimmie look like? I pondered. And what, for Heaven's sake, is a "Jimmie Jane?"
One gray, misty, wintry day, I looked through the grated doors of Watson Hall's lobby; the surroundings took on the texture of black and white, grainy photographs my Dad had brought back from Europe during the war, and the place just looked medieval! Before long, I made the connection between the campus's "feel" and the name"Jimmie," and it fit together. A knight could ride through campus in armor on a white horse and fit right in. If he had a name, would it be St. James? Or perhaps Sir James? Or how about SIR JIMMIE?? I knew it had potential -- I could see the mascot in Homecoming parades, or at football games. It seemed to work in other ways, too: the "Royal Court" would suddenly make sense, and the Jimmie Janes? Well, maybe even they could spin the mascot, too!
I talked it over with Loren Hoffman, the Student Association President and other friends. I cannot recall if there was much politicking that surrounded its adoption, but I do remember that there was enough in the Student Association account to pay for the design and painting of a fairly large sign which was erected at the college entrance, which said something like "Welcome to Jamestown College" and on the sign there was a knight on a horse, called "Sir Jimmie."
I graduated and left for graduate school, the sign aged and was eventually replaced or removed, and I lost track of what happened to the new mascot after that. But it had a reverse effect on me, too. Several years later, I earned the doctorate in German, with an emphasis on Medieval literature. I never thought about Sir Jimmie at the time, but the knight captured my imagination and never again let go.
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The University of Jamestown
Cheer for Jamestown Jimmies,
Fight for victory,
To our colors orange and black,
We pledge our loyalty;
When the battle's hardest
We'll come crashing through!
J-i-m-m-i-e-s, Oh Jimmies!
Jimmies, here's to you!
Come on gang!
Let's see what we can do.
Let's take ____________
Down a notch or two!
Fight, fight, rah, rah, rah!