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07/12/2020 Special > Special Important News


How the Lion Became the Symbol of Hanyang

From the lion statue to HYLion


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A lion is the officially designated school mascot of Hanyang University. The lion indicates the tradition and pride of the university and is used to represent Hanyang on school banners, student supplies, souvenirs, and other representative images of the university. Then when and how did the lion first establish itself as the symbol of Hanyang, and how has it changed over time?
The lion is the symbol of Hanyang University and is frequently used as a representative image of the school.

The statue of a roaring lion

In February 1966, the lion statue in front of the Administration Building was unveiled. It was donated by the alumni of the Class of 1966 to memorialize their commencement. Although there are some mismatches between the sources, the stone statue is known to have been carved by Jeon Roe-jin, a master sculptor who won the National Art Exhibition several times. Made of granite, the statue depicts the spirit of a roaring lion. Hanyang Newspaper describes the lion statue as follows: 

"A lion generally implies bravery and is used as a symbol of heroes. The dignity of the Hanyang Lion corresponds with that representation."

Hanyang Newspaper, March 5th, 1966          

Since then, the lion has become the symbol of the university. These editorial cartoons show how it has been used throughout the history of Hanyang.
The heyday of Hanyang Baseball in the 1970s
(Photo courtesy of Hanyang University Archives)
Celebrating the establishment of ERICA campus.
(Photo courtesy of Hanyang University Archives)
Hanyangians on their volunteer activities for rural communities.
(Photo courtesy of Hanyang University Archives)

Trivia on the teeth of the lion statue

For a long time, there has been a myth surrounding the teeth of the lion statue. As many students of Hanyang have prepared for the bar exam and civil service exams, they often counted the lion’s teeth for good luck before their tests. As a result, a number of times the lion's teeth, as well as the tail, have been removed from the lion by the examinees. The school administration responded strongly to this issue in the early 2000s, and the lion's granite teeth were replaced with plastic ones.
There was a myth about the lion statue's teeth, as they were thought to bring luck to examinees on the bar exam and civil service exams.
(Photo courtesy of Hanyang University Archives)

The lion becomes the brand of Hanyang

Today, the lion is more than just a representation of the school; it is the brand of Hanyang. The university launched HYlion 1.0 as its official mascot in 2011. Its name came from the combination of the words "Hanyang" and "lion." The mascot was updated last year, reinforcing its function as a character brand. “The focus is on planning, developing, and finding various applications of HYLion to strengthen a shared sense of school spirit,” said Lee Soo-kyeong from the Design Administration Center. “It also aims to make Hanyang more appealing to future students.”
(Left) HYlion 1.0 and (right) HYlion 2.0
(Photo courtesy of Hanyang University)

Oh Kyu-jin
Photos by Oh Kyu-jin
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