Former WIU Mascot Colonel Rock III Bobblehead Unveiled
MILWAUKEE – This morning, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the first officially licensed, limited-edition bobblehead of Colonel Rock III (aka “Rocky”), Western Illinois University’s former live mascot and the predecessor to current mascot Colonel Rock IV (aka “Ray”). Colonel Rock III ended the school’s 37-year live mascot hiatus and served as the school mascot for eight years. The special edition bobblehead was produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum in conjunction with Western Illinois University.
The Colonel Rock III bobblehead is sitting on a base bearing his name and prominently displaying the Leathernecks logo. The AKC-certified English bulldog is wearing a WIU sweater that reads C. ROCK 3 on the back with his tongue playfully hanging out. The detailed bobblehead also features the special markings on his ears.
The bobbleheads, which are individually numbered to 2,022, are only available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store and Western Illinois’ University Bookstore. The bobbleheads, which just arrived and ship now, cost $25 each plus shipping. A portion of the proceeds from the sales support Western Illinois University’s live mascot program. The bobblehead of Colonel Rock III joins the bobblehead of Colonel Rock IV that was unveiled last year. Colonel Rock IV’s bobblehead is also available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store and Western Illinois’ University Bookstore.
Originally from Seneca, Kansas, Colonel Rock III was born on March 3rd, 2010. A little over two months later, he made his Leatherneck debut during a Western Illinois baseball doubleheader on May 15th. His arrival made an immediate impact as the Leathernecks recorded a 12-11 victory in 10 innings in his first official appearance. Upon his introduction, Colonel Rock III became WIU’s first official four-legged mascot since the 1970s. Colonel Rock III was known to charm people on and off campus with his winning personality, tricks, and Bulldog smile.
WIU alumni Joe Roselieb, executive director of auxiliary services and risk management, and Ketra Roselieb, executive director of financial affairs, were the owners and caretakers of Rocky, and they have filled the same role with his younger cousin and successor Ray. Rocky retired in May of 2018 after over 8 years of timeless service. He could be found at home football and basketball games in addition to other Leatherneck athletic events throughout the year. He also popped up at campus and community events to help generate Leatherneck pride in Macomb. Colonel Rock III passed away on January 25th, 2021, just shy of his 11th birthday.
In Fall 2020, the Mascot Memorial Plaza project was unveiled outside of the University, which pays tribute to WIU’s live mascots, both past and present. The statue is surrounded by an alumni plaza, which is comprised of bricks inscribed with the names of alumni and friends.
"We’re excited to introduce this bobblehead of Colonel Rock III,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “Wildly popular during his eight years of service representing the university, we think this bobblehead of Colonel Rock III will be a must-have for any students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans and friends of the university.”
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit us online and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.