Before Wartburg College settled permanently in Waverly in 1935, the school’s nickname wasn’t the Knights. Throughout Wartburg’s history, the nicknames of Teutons, Hilltoppers, Wartburgers, Spartans, and the Purple-and-Gold had been used. The colors of orange and black were brought from the Clinton, Iowa, location. Elmer Hertel, a biology professor and Wartburg’s first paid football coach, was the architect for the nickname change to the Knights.
The graduating class of 1953 purchased the first complete set of knight’s armor, which was made in Stuttgart, Germany. The armor was usually worn each year by the student body president in the Homecoming Parade. This armor is still used to lead the Homecoming Parade each year.
In the 1960s, Duane Schroeder ’58, longtime sports information director, named the knight mascot Sir Victor. The name Victor comes from the word “victory,” which is something Wartburg knows a lot about on the field, on stage, and in the classroom! The current mascot suit was developed in the early 2000s.