contributed by Josh Hager. In the annals of romance at NC State University, we have decided to showcase perhaps the most unique courtship in our institution’s history: the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Wuf. On February 28, 1981, the Wufs (who had been informally known as Mr. and Mrs. Wuf for several years) made their relationship official. At halftime of a baskeball game in Reynolds Coliseum versus Wake Forest, the Demon Deacon presided over the wedding of the two mascots in front of 11,800 people. Escorting Mrs. Wuf to the center of the court was University Chancellor Joab L. Thomas. Also present at the ceremony were two wolf children, although reports are unclear if they were the children of the Wufs or if they were supposed to fill the roles of ring bearer and flower girl. The marriage has been a rousing success, as the couple renewed their vows early in January 2011, with the Demon Deacon once again presiding during another basketball game.
The truth behind this “marriage” comes from the article of The Technician in 1981 that covered the big event. In reality, the two students portraying the Wufs, Chris Belton and Susan C. Smith, had attended a cheerleading camp where they were universally called Mr. and Mrs. Wuf. Belton thought that, if the two were to have the titles of married wolves, then a marriage ceremony was a must. The idea of including wolf pups at the wedding ceremony came from Belton as well. 4-year-old Tricia Ann Cheeks and 5-year-old Chris Combs had been following Mr. Wuf during the Maryland home basketball game and the duo eventually decided to pull Mr. Wuf’s tail. Inside the costume, Belton decided the kids would be a great addition to the wedding ceremony, inspiring their inclusion as the “highlight of the proceedings.” Adding kids to the mix was not the only change for the Wufs revolving around the ceremony. Leading up to the wedding and in appearances afterward, Belton and Smith decided to emphasize the relationship of the Wufs more. For example, when men “flirted” with Mrs. Wuf, Mr. Wuf would come to his wife’s side and defend her honor (all in good fun, of course).
The Technician’s takeaway from the event praised the efforts of mascots, calling them the “unsung heroes of an intercollegiate sports program.” For the Valentine’s Day edition of Historically Stated, we look at the Wufs as a couple that has withstood the test of time. Of course, they are fictional characters and students in costume, but we will set aside those pertinent facts until after February 14th.
For more information on the Wufs or any other member of the NCSU Athletics Teams, visit us at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections/