In early 1982, columnist Don Payton — who has been recording the University’s history for 50 years — wrote that a friend said the school’s mascot should be changed from the Bears to the Squirrels. His friend made the claim: “I dare say there are more squirrels at SMS than there are on any campus in the nation.” There’s even an urban legend that the University must have imported some of our squirrels since there are so many. We don’t know exactly why those critters love us so much, but we do know comments about them continue to this day. On April Fool’s Day 2011, a prank website was created to celebrate the day on campus. It mentioned a Saturday class titled “Squirrel Cultures of the Missouri State University Campus.” Oh, and by the way: Go Squirrels!