During its 36-year run as Fenn College, the school's athletic teams were known as the Foxes. No one has ever uncovered a reason for the nickname other than alliteration. Somehow the moniker "Foxes" went nicely with Fenn.
However, the Cleveland State Foxes didn't have quite the same ring, so when they city's new state university was born in 1965, it was decided to hold a vote of the student body to select a new nickname.
A panel of judges pared down a long list of selections to three finalists - Lakers (Eriemen was a near miss), Foresters and Vikings.
Vikings was an overwhelming winner, some hinted darkly because a large contingent of students, who had spent their pre-college days at Cleveland St. Joseph High, stuffed the ballot boxes. St. Joseph teams were, of course, known as the Vikings.
No matter, the nickname has remained.
The Viking mascots, Hagar and Helga, were adopted from the popular comic strip "Hagar the Horrible" in 1981 through the generous permission of his creator, the late Dik Browne. They have become the Vikes' highly popular on-court symbol.