How did DePaul get a demon as a mascot?

Many have pondered, protested, and embraced DePaul’s Blue Demon name, yet where did it come from? The history of our athletic title and mascot has been a frequently asked question throughout the life of the University and the answer lives in Special Collections and Archives on the third floor of the John T. Richardson Library.

1912-1913 Football squad
1912-1913 Football squad.

Here is the story:
In 1907 when St. Vincent’s College became DePaul University, the sports teams wore red uniforms with large Ds on the front. During a game, in the early 1900s, an announcer referred to the players as the D-men. This name stuck with the team and evolved into the Demon we have today. The blue component is thought to have developed from the attempt to distinguish the players from DePaul University from those of the DePaul Academy (a high school a part of the University at the time). It was for this reason that the Academy took to wearing blue uniforms with red Ds and the University adopted red uniforms with blue Ds; thus solidifying their title as the Blue D-men or what we know them as today: The DePaul Blue Demons!

So next time you are out cheering for the red and the blue remember to cheer for our Demon too!

Contact DePaul’s University Archives for more information.

Bygone DePaul is a series highlighting DePaul’s campus and how it has changed through the years.

10 Replies to “How did DePaul get a demon as a mascot?”

  1. I’m proud to be a DePaul University alumni but I can not celebrate demons in any way. Blue or otherwise. I cannot even buy or wear anything that has the words or picture of your demon. I’m sadden that I can’t fully engage in all things DePaul because of it. However, I don’t judge anyone who does. It is my personal bias.
    Peace and Love

    1. Ok, I have to ask. And note, I’m a fellow alum (MS HCI, ‘22) and honestly I’m not trying to be a jerky internet troll but sincerely curious. When you were considering where to go to school, was this something that troubled you as a rising freshman? Did this objection over time? Just curious, given your objection why you still chose to go there?

  2. You are a Catholic University and your mascot is a demon ? I prayerfully ask you to please discern one or the other being changed: either you are not truly Catholic and the University’s name should change – or – your mascot needs to uphold to the moral teachings of the Catholic faith.

    This University’s mascot should reflect the University’s foundation, not the dialogue choice of a former announcer. In today’s culture, it is absolutely crucial for all Catholic Universities to uphold and not compromise at least the basic teachings of the Catholic faith.

    St. Vincent DePaul would not approve of the present mascot. Please pray on this as a University and call upon a change.

    God bless you all in your discernment process, the work you do, and your personal journey with our Lord.
    Cherie Marie

  3. We understand that DePaul University is more concerned with turning a profit than actually embracing Vincentian values, however, we would like the University to embrace it.
    If you are going to spit on the Saint that inspired the founding of our University then it would be best to divorce ourselves from his legacy altogether. Take down his images around campus, stop teaching Vincentianism, and become a secular University. In everything but name DePaul already is, just acknowledge it.

    Or we could embrace the Vincentian, Catholic values you teach. ‘What must be done’ isn’t usually popular.

    Benedicte.

  4. As a Catholic, I’m baffled by the fact that a Catholic University would have a demon as a mascot, with the logo picture and all. They should have stuck with the original D-Men.
    Having a satanic demon as the mascot is an awful look.
    How did it evolve from D-Men to Demon?

    1. I live in Chicago and follow sports but I never even really thought about this until today when I saw the blue demon (very satanic) logo on the DePaul softball schedule.

      To say the name somehow organically evolved from D-men to Demons seems implausible as there has to have been discussions on the highest levels of the institution before that was authorized.

      I agree with folks above, it is extremely troubling.

  5. This has bothered me for years. My son is about to graduate from DePaul. He is a strong Christian and was excited to go to a college that is SUPPOSED to be dedicated to Christ. He (and we) have found it to be the most godless place around. He was excited to have several classes that taught about Jesus, but they were actually ANT-CHRIST, and he was so upset and disappointed. If this was a state or secular school, I could excuse it, but you are a catholic school. How could this have ever persisted as acceptable? Probably because your administration is satanic. He is so happy to be out of there and so are we!

  6. Please either change your mascot’s name or cast aside your Catholic identity. Catholics rebuke demons, not cheer them on. I’ve never been more embarrassed to be Catholic then when I saw your mascot while watching a basket ball game with my protestant husband. He laughed when I discovered DePaul’s claim to be a Catholic University. May God have mercy on you for the damage you have done to His church.

  7. A demon mascot for the largest Catholic church just blows my mind. Who approved that? Not that difficult to understand why it would not be ideal to have students cheer on the devil/demon as part of having school spirit and being at sports games, etc. The devil is literally the enemy of Christians. There has to be more meaning behind this decision then just coincidence of going from D-Men to Demon. It is hard to respect that this school is truly built on the catholic faith if something as obvious as this is not questioned by the leadership of the University.

  8. Overall this looks bad. I love the school but hate the mascot. I get a gut wrenching feeling every time I want to buy DePaul gear. The sales on everything that has the demon on it have to be hurting the school financially. The times have changed and we are should adapt. The D-Men history is no longer appropriate nor inclusive and should live in the PAST. Just like slavery and segregation, it’s just not right.

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