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New WIU Mascot Bobblehead Commemorates the Late Col. Rock III's Legacy

September 26, 2022

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL -- To commemorate the legacy of the late Col. Rock III (Rocky), who resurrected Western Illinois University's live mascot program when he joined the Leatherneck family on May 18, 2010 as a 16-week-old puppy, Rocky's face is now on an officially licensed and limited edition bobblehead, produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum. Col. Rock IV's (Ray) bobblehead was unveiled on Jan. 7, 2022. 

 Rocky served WIU's mascot for eight years, retiring in 2019. He passed away on Jan. 25, 2021, a few months shy of his 11th birthday. Rocky was WIU's first official four-legged mascot since the 1970s, and he charmed people on and off campus with his winning personality, tricks and Bulldog smile. Joe (executive director of auxiliary services and risk management) and Ketra Roselieb (executive director of personnel and financial affairs) were Rocky's caretakers, and continue that legacy with Ray. 

Both Rocky and Ray were donated by Richard and Beth Siess of the Siess Ranch in Seneca, Kansas. While they are not directly related, there is a distant lineage between Colonel Rock III and Colonel Rock IV. Their namesake is the WIU's late legendary longtime coach and athletic director Ray "Rock" Hanson, a Marine Corps veteran.  

"Rocky brought so much life to our campuses and our communities, and he was a part of the Roselieb family – and the Leatherneck family – for nearly 11 years. It was an honor to care for him, and it's an honor to memorialize him with this special edition bobblehead," Joe said.  

The Colonel Rock III bobblehead sits on a base bearing his name and the Leathernecks logo. The AKC-certified English bulldog is wearing his official "W" sweater, and that famous Bulldog tongue is part of the statuette. The bobbleheads, which are individually numbered to 2,022, are available at the University Bookstore, at a cost of $25 ( A portion of the proceeds from the bobblehead sales support WIU's live mascot program. The bobbleheads can also be purchased through the Bobblehead Hall of Fame's online store. 

"We're excited to introduce Western's second bobblehead," said National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. "Wildly popular during his eight years of service representing WIU, we think the Colonel Rock III bobblehead will be a must-have as he brought the live mascot program at Western back to life."

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