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Colossus and the Bears

The original Bear

Our original mascot, Colossus, was a full-size stuffed grizzly bear.

Colossus was bought from an antique shop by a student in 1956, and had many adventures including multiple kidnappings by other colleges, and being introduced to the Queen Mother (for which he was fitted with new teeth).

He also took frequent trips around the College and it wasn’t unusual for students to get back to their rooms in Founder’s Building, after a long day studying, to be confronted by his grizzly face.

The original Colossus met a sad end. In 1991 he was kidnapped by Imperial College as part of a RAG raid. They demanded a ransom, but when this was not paid he remained at Imperial until he was sadly burned by an animal rights protester.

Colossus has now, however, been reborn as a wooden sculpture of a polar bear and lives in the university’s scenic grounds. His new incarnation as a Polar Bear also links him to one of the most famous paintings in our Picture Gallery, Man Proposes, God Disposes by Edward Landseer.

Colossus has been the official mascot for all of our sports clubs since 2015.

As a student at Royal Holloway, you have officially been accepted into the Bear community!