In 1945, NEO was gaining recognition academically and for its impressive football team. S.A. ‘Red’ Robertson, famed football coach, felt that it was time for the college to have an official mascot, something NEO had been previously lacking. Because NEO is located in the northeast Oklahoma, Robertson began researching images originating from the northeastern regions of the world. It was then that he found the Norsemen of Europe.
The Norsemen were warriors who roamed the world, fighting ferociously in battle. Robertson felt this was an excellent mascot to represent the college. Charles Banks Wilson, renowned artist and founder of NEO’s Art Department, was commissioned to create the Norseman logo that NEO still uses today.
Decades later, in 1981, Dr. Nick Calcagno, former art instructor, designed and created the nine-foot Norseman statue that graces the entrance to NEO’s campus.