There are many people who represent Troy University, but one of its most famous symbols is the mascot, T-Roy.
T-Roy has been making the Troy University community smile since the mid-1980s, but with constant public appearances, what is it like to be T-Roy himself?
“It’s a ton of fun,” T-Roy said in his rarely heard voice. “I get to interact with all kinds of people from all different backgrounds and I can pretty much make somebody’s day 100 times better and that’s just a great feeling, like it just puts a smile on everybody’s face. I love it.”
Kyle George, the associate athletic director for Troy University, provided insight on what it’s like to bear the T-Roy mantle and how much he means to the university.
George said that the group of students who wear the costume works together to ensure everyone maintains the same appearance and mannerisms while in character.
“I would say that they have formed a unique brotherhood being together in this program and take great pride in representing our beloved university as T-Roy whenever they are given the opportunity to put on the suit,” George said. “I am very proud of the team that we have and the countless hours that they put into perfecting their craft in order to bring enjoyment to others.”
According to George, the people inside the T-Roy suit must keep their identities secret.
“The purpose of being the mascot is to provide school spirit at functions both on and off campus,” George said. “T-Roy is meant to stand as a symbol and representative of our school and is not about the individual that is in the suit.”
T-Roy gets to interact with students in and out of the classroom. He has even canceled class before.
T-Roy isn’t tethered to university events; he has been offered many other requests for his appearance such as parades, children’s events and other community events throughout Alabama.
“T-Roy has several requests for events throughout the year and enjoys appearing at all of them,” George said.
T-Roy has a lot of time dedicated to making people smile at different events, and the number of events he attends varies each week based on the time of year.
“However, during a normal football game week, T-Roy typically has in the range of 7 to 10 events per week,” George said.
A part of George’s title is being an informant in marketing and sales. When asked how crucial of a marketing tool T-Roy is for Troy University, George praises Troy’s favorite icon.
“(T-Roy can) light up a room without ever saying a word,” George said.
“Pretty much everybody loves T-Roy,” the mascot said. “Everybody wants to come up, take a picture and high five T-Roy.”
While the average person might imagine a large suit in the sun to smell, T-Roy works diligently to make sure he doesn’t stink when fans give him hugs.
“There is a lot of upkeep that goes into keeping T-Roy prepared for the multitude of requests that he receives for appearances,” George said.
Before T-Roy resumed his silent aura, he left fans with one request.
“Whether we’re winning or losing, don’t leave the game,” he said. “Stay and have fun. Cheer on your team.”