Interview with Robert Goldstein, Class of 1983


Goldstein, Robert



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Illinois State University Archivist April Anderson-Zorn and Robert Goldstein, Class of 1983, discuss Robert’s tenure as the first Reggie Redbird mascot (1981-1983) via Zoom videoconferencing software on March 15, 2022. Goldstein describes using juggling skills he learned as a member of the Gamma Phi Circus fraternity during the tryouts that won him the role, then attending mascot camp as the only mascot without a costume. He had been instructed to keep his identity a secret until the final home basketball game of the 1982 season and so spent a year working undercover; only his parents and girlfriend knew the identity of the man behind the bird. Goldstein recounts humorous and even frightening incidents during his tenure as Reggie. “I brought life to the suit,” he says, “and it’s a responsibility because you are representing the University and you can be just a cartoon character or you can be like a cutout or you can be this dynamic thing that brings energy and notoriety to the school for its own sake.”

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Interview with Robert Goldstein, Class of 1983