The eagle has been the university’s mascot since 1922. Prior to choosing a mascot athletic teams did not have a standard name. By 1921 the students wanted a name that would identify both the school and the teams. A vote was held on February 1, 1922; “Eagles” won over “Hawks,” “Dragons,” and “Lions.” In 1924, the U.S. Copyright Office approved the North Texas State Teachers College’s application depicting an American Eagle, wings spread, perched on a wood block with the raised inscription, “Eagles.” The emblem was used when awarding letters to athletes, as well as on pins and documents.
In 1924 Roy Whisenhunt was presented with an eagle pendant to honor his football career. Whisenhunt’s future wife, Gladys Bass, provided sketches contributing to the eagle’s design.