Published: Dec. 1, 2017

All About Ralphie 

magazine spread

Trading card Ralphies, also from the fall issue. Test your knowledge!

magazine spread

The opening illustration of our fall 2017 issue, by Drew Litton.

The story on Ralphie was fun to read. Since you invited readers to supply more details, you may be interested in how Ralphie got her name. She was named after Ralph Wallace (Hist’68), who I think was the CU junior class president at the time. Whether he campaigned for the distinction, let alone this form of immortality, is debatable. My acquaintance with Ralph arose as we competed for the attentions of the same Southern belle when we all attended St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church just off campus. Again, thanks for the great story and the wonderful memories it provoked for some of us.

Kirk Rider (Engl’67)
Grand Junction, Colo.

Editor's Note: 

There are several tales in circulation about the origin of Ralphie's name. If you'd like to share yours write us at

The Ralphie Issue [fall 2017] is fantastic! Thank you for doing such a great job!

Nancy Kane (Art’86)
Brooktondale, N.Y.

As a CU alumnus I recall with nostalgia Ralphie’s running at CU football games in the 1980s during my wonderful undergraduate years. But it’s nearly 2020: This 1960s-era practice befits neither CU nor buffalo, which are not pets. Today’s Ralphie would be better served by being visited in her natural habitat by CU students and the public at a natural environment educational venue. It could feature the bison’s important role in both Native American history and in CU’s football history. Free Ralphie!

Ellen W. Gorsevski (Hum’88)
Bowling Green, Ohio

I was not aware that the current issue of the Coloradan was going to be “The Ralphie Issue.” I would have submitted the Ralphie story that beats all others. Thanks for rekindling the memory of all our beautiful mascots.

In 1969, as a member of the Golden Buffalo Men’s Marching Band, I happened to find myself in the north end zone of Folsom Field, alone with Ralphie prior to our pre-game performance. It was a surreal moment, but I was immediately drawn to her trailer. There we were, alone in front of 50,000 people with what felt like a spotlight on us. I went over and pressed my eye to the grate, and she did likewise while wagging her tail. There we were, our eyes mere inches from each other. I will never forget that big, beautiful eye and that tiny tail! I felt compelled to say something. I said, “You are a beautiful and magnificent creature, Ralphie. Thank you for sharing your planet with us.” She replied, “You are a kind and gentle soul, Joe. You come with good intentions.” I so longed to enter her trailer and give her a big hug.

Up to that moment, I did not know anything about spirituality or animal communication, but I have since learned a lot about both. That incident started me on a spiritual journey with the universe that continues to this day. I remember her words, and have striven to be the kind and gentle person she recognized and to be true to my soul. It started with my becoming an ardent protector of animals, something that continues to this day. I have struggled to overcome my ego, which is, indeed, a lifetime battle. I have always considered that moment in my life to have been a gift from God.

Joe Felice (Span’72)
Aurora, Colo.

Open Space in Aurora 

I always enjoy Paul Danish’s (Hist’65) column, but this time he goofed. He said that without its open space, Boulder would look like Aurora! Has he been to Aurora, the third-largest city in Colorado?

Aurora has 14 open space areas with a total of 5,414 acres — he could Google it.

Charlotte Faris
Aurora, Colo.

Getting Social 

rachel edson

A sampling of readers’ online reactions to the fall issue:

Upon seeing Drew Litton’s Ralphie cartoon depicting the buffed-up mascot in a cape, Shelly McCune Greenwood (Bus’81; MEdu’00) responded on Facebook: “She’s looking great for her age!”

After reading Andrew Daigle’s (PhD Engl’16) story on Buffs’ senior tailback Phillip Lindsay (Comm, Soc’17), @rensch025 tweeted: “Nice little write-up on @I_CU_boy [Lindsay] in the Coloradan. Class on and off the field! #gobuffs. On Facebook, CU Boulder staff member Michelle Bell said, “Humble, positive, talented and kind...He makes all of us so proud!”

Responding to the Q&A with Ralphie Runner Rachel Edson (Soc’18), Facebook commenter Debra Price wrote, “We were very honored to be invited to one of Ralphie's practices recently, where I met Rachel. She clearly loves Ralphie and what she's doing. Both Rachel and Ralphie are great ambassadors for CU.”