STUDENTS WILL SELECT COLLEGE’S NEW MASCOT AND COLORS
The final decision about what Middle Georgia State College’s new mascot will be the Knights or the Thrashers or the Thunderbirds is going to be made not by senior administrators, but by current students at Macon State College and Middle Georgia College.Knights Some students have suggested this would be a practical combination of the existing mascots of the two colleges. Macon State’s current mascot, the Blue Storm (as well as its previous mascot, the mustang) has a horse as its key figure; Middle Georgia’s current mascot is the Warriors. It was argued that a knight is a warrior often seen fighting while riding a horse. The character also is seen as chivalrous, noble and strong.
The Consolidation Implementation Committee a group of citizens from the Central Georgia communities served by both existing colleges met Thursday, Sept. 6 and narrowed down the list of nine mascot finalists to three.
After a thorough discussion of each one of the nine, the group chose three to go forward to be decided by students:
Thrashers – In addition to being connected to the state of Georgia the brown thrasher is the state bird it has the geographic connection to Central Georgia, as these birds are numerous in the region. The bird has a large musical repertoire, a reference to the music heritage of the region, and is an aggressive defender of its home territory.
Thunderbirds – The rationale for this included references to the rich heritage of Native Americans in this region of Georgia, since the thunderbird is a powerful spirit in that culture. Additionally, this was seen as a nod to the influence of the U.S. Air Force in this region, as the Thunderbirds is a USAF precision flying unit that has performed several times in local air shows.
Putting the final decision in the hands of students was a change from the previously agreed upon process, a change implemented by John Black, interim president of Macon State. He told the group the mascot decision needed to be made by students, not administrators.
“This is going to delay us a little bit, but students really need to buy in to this process,” Black said. “The committee picked three finalists, and committee members would be happy with any one of them, so why not let students make the final choice?”
Originally, it was hoped the mascot would be selected by early September, but now the process will be prolonged to receive input not once but twice from students.
According to the process that was agreed upon by Black, Middle Georgia College President Mike Stoy and the presidents of the two college student government associations, here’s what will happen next:
Word will be disseminated this week and next about the three mascot finalists. Students may choose to have forums or campaigns or post signage about their picks.
Beginning Monday, Sept. 17, current students on campuses in Macon, Warner Robins, Cochran, Dublin and Eastman will be able to cast one vote for their favorite mascot choice. The procedure for that voting process will be announced to students soon. Students may vote from 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 17 through noon on Friday, Sept. 21.
The mascot selection will be presented to a graphic design firm, which will be asked to present at least three sets of color combinations for that mascot.
Those color combinations will be voted on again by students. The timing for that voting will be determined by how quickly the designs can be produced. At the conclusion of that vote, the Middle Georgia State College mascot and school colors will be set.
“We are very pleased with this process, since it puts the important decisions in the hands of students,” Black said. “We hope we will have a lot of participation because this is a decision that will determine an important symbol of the new college’s identity in the years ahead.”