Sparky is Liberty University’s number one fan and is actively involved with NCAA athletics, Student Activities, Club Sports, community events and all things Liberty. You can find Sparky at most athletic events on campus such as football, basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, volleyball and men’s D1 hockey. He also travels to away football games and basketball conference and postseason tournaments. At other times, you may find Sparky just hanging out on campus. Sparky also participates in the UCA Mascot National Championship and has qualified for the competition in 2016, 2017, 2019 and 2020, even winning the national championship in 2016 in the open division.
Class: Lifelong Learner
Position: Liberty’s #1 Fan
Hometown: Lynchburg, Virginia
Major: All of them; Sparky is attempting to get every single degree offered by Liberty University, a feat never achieved before.
Life Verse: “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” -Isaiah 40:31
2016: 1st place, UCA Open Mascot National Championship
2017: 2nd place, UCA Mascot Camp Competition
2017: 3rd place, UCA Open Mascot National Championship
2018: 5th place, UCA Mascot Camp Competition
2019: 10th place, UCA D1A Mascot National Championship
2019: 1st place, UCA Mascot Camp Competition
2020: 11th place, UCA D1A College Mascot National Championship
History of Sparky
Liberty University began in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College. In 1974, the student body voted to be called the “Flames”, a name derived from the school’s motto “Knowledge Aflame”. In 1976, the school’s name was changed to Liberty Bapist College, and the school colors were changed from green and gold to red, white and blue. In 1985, the school name was changed to Liberty University. Throughout the year, “Flames” has remained the nickname for Liberty’s athletic teams.
In 1980, the eagle was designated as the new Flames mascot because of the patriotic symbolism connected with the school’s name. The original mascot renderings had a flaming torch clutched in the Eagle’s left talon. The first mascot was name LU (pronounced “Lou”). The Liberty mascot was later renamed “Sparky” to match the “Flames” theme.
Sparky’s appearance has evolved over the years. Sparky was originally tall and thin with chicken legs, a small head and an angry face. In the early 2000’s, Sparky was more rotund with a happy face, making him appear friendlier to children. In 2006, Sparky received a significant makeover and was reintroduced to the student body at the beginning of the school year. Arriving in a stretched black limousine, Sparky set foot on the field at Williams Stadium with a brand-new look: an average height and weight, an athletic build, a larger head and an intense face that reflects his competitive nature to win.
Sparky’s current image was created in 2015 when his color was changed from orange to yellow, making him appear more loveable and cartoonish. It is this depiction of Sparky that has become a brand for the university as a whole.