What’s up with the new mascot?

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Over the summer, the college announced that the phoenix had been selected as the college’s new mascot after having received the most votes from both the campus and the alumni community. Although it will not replace “The Garnet” as the name of the athletic teams, the Swarthmore Phoenix will have a physical presence on campus at some point within the next year.

The phoenix received a plurality of both the alumni and the student and faculty voting. To be more precise, of 873 student and faculty votes cast, the phoenix received 327, a “None of the Above” option received 275, the manticore received 130, the gorilla received 78, and the griffin received 63. Of 868 alumni votes cast, the phoenix garnered an even larger plurality, receiving 390 votes to 280 for “None of the Above,” 108 for the manticore, 49 for the griffin, and 41 for the gorilla.

Kyle White ’08 is president of the Garnet Club and was one of the leaders of the mascot initiative. Now that a mascot has been chosen, he said, a committee including members of the dean’s office, faculty, and students has been created to determine the final form and function of the mascot. “We have plans of having a fireside chat in the near future so that we can get more student perspectives on the mascot and just what everyone else’s thoughts are. We will be asking students how they feel the mascot should look, what its name should be… we are also considering taking drawings of people’s ideas on what the mascot should look like, and then having the mascot-building company incorporate these ideas.”

White explained that the broad committee was formed because “we really want the mascot to be a representative of the entire campus community, instead of just athletics… we envision the mascot attending alumni events, Ride the Tide, Discovery Weekend, and also major sporting contests.” The committee is currently searching for a company “that will be willing to work with us… to produce a mascot that really reflects the spirit on Swarthmore’s campus.” If all goes well, you should expect to see the mascot at events starting in the fall of 2007.

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