The search for an IC mascot
By Gillian Smith ’12
For the first time in history, Ithaca College will be naming an official school mascot. In fall 2010, representatives from a subcommittee of the Student Government Association, tasked to fuel school spirit, sat down with the Office of Marketing Communications to discuss the possibility of creating a mascot. The group felt an official mascot would boost participation at College functions, become a recognizable symbol for the College, and act as a continual rallying point for the IC community.
From there, a mascot selection task force was assembled, consisting of representative students (athletes and nonathletes), alumni, faculty, and staff. In November, the task force launched a six-week campaign to collect ideas about what the mascot could be. Alumni, students, faculty, and staff sent in over 250 suggestions.
From those 250 suggestions, the task force narrowed down the list to a smaller group of finalists. In April, the results were shared with the IC community, accompanied by a survey asking for feedback on the finalists.
“Students have embraced the Bomber nickname for the last 70 years, and the arrival of an official mascot will not change that,” says Mike Lindberg, associate director of inter-collegiate athletics and cochair of the mascot selection task force. “The origin of the Bomber nickname is somewhat ambiguous, but the most accurate theory is that a local sports reporter in the 1940s coined the term in reference to the IC basketball team’s bomb-like shots. The school will keep the ‘Bomber’ nickname because it is a point of great pride for many alumni, and it is rooted in the history of our College. It will always be a great day to be a Bomber.”
Over the years, the College has seen many different student-initiated costumes appear on its playing fields. A unicorn debuted in the 1970s, a rooster in the 1980s, and a fighter pilot appeared sporadically for a couple of decades beginning in the 1980s. An homage to these characters has been created on the mascot website at ithaca.edu/mascot/memories, and alumni are encouraged to send in their memories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The task force will announce the selected mascot later this summer, and its costume will be unveiled later this fall.
Stay abreast of the latest updates in the mascot search at ithaca.edu/mascot.