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Story Series
Behind the Name

From students’ first days on campus to commencement, Bristaco is an ever-present figure. 

But do you know how the loveable bear and mascot of Bridgewater State University got its name?  

Named For

BSU's former name 

The Backstory

Bristaco, wearing a bruins shirt, stands next to Marty Walsh on the commencement stage.
Bristaco becomes an honorary Boston Bruin at commencement in 2019.

For more than 50 years, Bristaco has been the cheerleader-in-chief of Bridgewater State. 

When Bridgewater brought modern college football to campus in the 1960s, students voted on the mascot. Bob Calzini, ’64, came up with the name of Bristaco. It is formed from the first two or three letters of each word of the institution’s name at the time - Bridgewater State College. 

In 2019, former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made Bristaco an honorary member of the Boston Bruins. Walsh spoke at commencement as the Bruins were in the midst of a playoff run. 

The mascot changed its look over the years and Bridgewater State is now a university, but the name stuck. 

Use Today

Bristaco appears at numerous games and events. Bristaco loves posing for photos with students, alumni and visitors. So, don’t be shy if you see the bear wandering around campus.  

Material in this article comes from BSC Football: The Swenson Era, a 2018 book by Jim Tartari, ’64, Mike Hughes, ’65, Bob Mason, ’65 and Charlie Worden, ’70.