Texas Tech University’s iconic mascot will celebrate its 60th anniversary this year.

Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

The Masked Rider first appeared in the 1954 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida where the late Joe Kirk Fulton and his horse took on the mantle of the university’s mascot.

“The Masked Rider has become one of the most recognizable mascots in the country,” said Stephanie Rhode, Spirit Program director. “I think it's important that we gather together and pay homage to the men and women who built this tradition which, started as a student dare and has evolved into the majestic and iconic symbol of Texas Tech University.”

One Tech Student is eagerly anticipating the Saturday, August 30, Tech football season opener against Central Arkansas – Junior Mackenzie White will debut in that game, with horse Fearless Champion, as this year’s Masked Rider. White will take her place as the 53rd Masked Rider

“I’m excited and nervous all at the same time,” White said. “I’ve heard from past riders that there’s nothing like it in the world. It’s completely inexplicable.”