Pegasus flew in to serve as the University of Central Florida’s official seal on April 5, 1968 – five years after the institution was founded in Orlando and six months before the fledgling university’s classes began.
The image of the winged horse from Greek mythology was unveiled by UCF’s first president, Charles Millican, and serves to connect the old and new, and the humanities with science and technology.
Pegasus has long been a world traveler and…well, let him tell his own story in this recent Q&A:
Where is your home?
By Greek tradition, I was born beside the waters of Oceanus, the river that encircled the world. But today I live in Central Florida, a terrific place to live and learn and be a part of something extraordinary. You can see me on the campuses every day.
Tell us about your family.
My parents were Poseidon and Medusa. My brother, Chrysaor, was a warrior born the same time I was.
What is your motto for life?
“Reach for the Stars.” Ever since this institution was founded as Florida Technological University, I have challenged others to aim high and go beyond what they think is possible.
What is your occupational background?
I’ve done many things through the years. I carried thunderbolts for Zeus, fought in battles, carried heroes on many exploits, inspired artists and filmmakers, worked in many marketing campaigns, and served as a model for a constellation.
What are your favorite movies?
Some of my favorites that I’ve been portrayed in are Fantasia (1940), Clash of the Titans (1981), and Disney’s Hercules (1997). Some other films I like are Black Beauty, National Velvet and Seabiscuit.
Where else could we see your likeness?
I worked with Mobil Oil, Reader’s Digest, TriStar Pictures, Air France, Turkey’s Pegasus Airlines, Pontiac Fiero, Buell Motorcycle Co., Pegasus Mail and other corporations. Nike has a line of shoes called Air Pegasus, and Hasbro based a My Little Pony on me. Pegasus Transportation, Pegasus Engineering and other Pegasus-named companies are right here in Central Florida. My portfolio is pretty diverse.
What are some of your favorite pastimes?
I like to travel, attend UCF Alumni Association events, find adventure where I can, play the game of H-O-R-S-E, look for my picture on Florida license tags, that sort of thing.
Are you a member of any campus organizations?
I belong to several at UCF – the Astronomy Club, Equestrian Club, Chess Club and the Greek Council.
What is something that most people may not know about you?
Since ancient times, wherever I strike my hoof to the earth a spring bursts forth.
What is in your future?
I love my long and productive relationship with UCF and will continue trying to inspire others to achieve great things. UCF is turning 50 years old this year, but I don’t see retirement in my plans anytime soon. And please remember this whenever we happen to see each other: We are all classics in our own ways.
Stay up to date on UCF’s 50th anniversary activities all through 2013 at ucf.edu/50.