In 1913, a group of MIT alumni came together to brainstorm ideas for a sentimental mascot for the Institute. On January 14, 1914, the group formally presented the beaver mascot to MIT's President, Richard Maclaurin. This is what Lester Gardner 1897, chairman of the group, reported:
We first thought of the kangaroo, which like Tech goes forward by leaps and bounds and like you comes from Australia. Then we considered the elephant. He is wise, patient, strong, hard working and like all men who graduate from Tech [MIT], has a good tough hide.
But neither of these were American animals. We turned to Mr. Hornaday's book on the Animals of North America and instantly chose the Beaver. As you will see the Beaver not only typifies the Tech man but his habits are peculiarly our own. Mr. Hornaday say, "Of all the animals of the world, the beaver is noted for his engineering and mechanical skill and habits of industry. His habits are nocturnal, he does his best work in the dark."
The beaver has since been named TIM. TIM frequently will appear at important MIT events, posing for pictures and generally providing joy and mirth to all those who see him.