Brutus Buckeye Has Roots in Mansfield
Brutus’ story began over 50 years ago outside of a sorority house at The Ohio State University and has a strong Mansfield connection. Brutus was the brainchild of Mansfield-native Sally Lanyon and her college boyfriend, Ray Bourhis.
Lanyon stopped by the Mansfield campus on Friday, October 12, 2018, to see the new 8-foot Brutus statue that stands outside of the admissions office in Riedl Hall. The statue was donated by Dr. James Goudy II, an Ohio State Mansfield board of trustee member, and painted by Ohio State alum Ryan Failor.
Lanyon is a Mansfield Senior High School graduate and was in town for her 55th high school class reunion.
The Making of Brutus
In 1963, Lanyon began attending The Ohio State University in Columbus. She and Bourhis noticed that there was not a mascot. They began creating the first Brutus on the front lawn of her Pi Beta Phi sorority house at Ohio State’s Columbus campus in 1965. Brutus was made from sticks, chicken wire, and paper mache.
Since Bourhis was a walk-on for the football team. He knew the stadium very well and decided to test out their new creation during the 1965 homecoming game against Minnesota.
Laynon recalls, “I was in the stands thinking we were going to get arrested for bringing the newly created Brutus on the field.” Fortunately, the crowd loved it.
“Some of the guys who wore the early Brutus said they would stumble and fall. If they wanted to see the crowd, they would have to lift it and look through the eyes which were located about waist high.”
The current Brutus now appears at more than 500 sporting/non-sporting events each year.
In 2015, Lanyon and Bourhis attended the 50th birthday of Brutus held at the Archie Griffin Grand Ballroom along with over 50 former students who donned the Brutus costume throughout the years.
“The best part about that weekend was having many of those guys – only three of them were women – come up to me and say, ‘Thank you for creating Brutus. You’ve changed my life,’ and I will never forget that feeling,” Lanyon says proudly.
Laynon and co-creator, Bourhis authored a book “The Autobiography of Brutus Buckeye: As Told to His Parents, Sally Lanyon, and Ray Bourhis” in 2015 for Brutus’ 50th birthday. The book was published by Orange Frazer Press and is available on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s bookstores.
If you would like to read more about the history of Brutus, Lanyon has created thebrutusblog.com.
About Ohio State Mansfield:
The Ohio State University at Mansfield offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive as students become part of an academic tradition that leads the way in shaping tomorrow’s world. Students discover world-class teaching minds passionate about connecting to other disciplines while discovering new ways to see the world. With access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors, Ohio State Mansfield is where learning comes to life. Research, internships, education abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.