Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Last November Ithaca College initiated a search for an official mascot to accompany our Bombers nickname. Our hope was to select a mascot that would reflect our institutional pride and personify the school spirit that connects us all. As this initiative began, I envisioned it concluding with a mascot that would bring additional life to student events around campus as well as leading the charge on the sidelines and in the stands at athletic contests.
Throughout this process, we sought your input and made it a priority to listen. Back in November we asked IC students, alumni, faculty, and staff to submit suggestions for a mascot. The Mascot Selection Task Force received over 250 ideas, which they narrowed down to three finalists presented for your feedback in April.
The survey to gather that feedback was completed by approximately 10,000 of the 50,000 faculty, staff, alumni, current and admitted students to whom it was mailed. The results of that survey showed that our community was split. There were three primary groups: those who expressed enthusiasm for one or more of the mascot finalists, those who did not care for any of the three and advocated for a continued mascot search, and those who did not think Ithaca College needed a mascot at all.
A substantial majority of people in every category of relationship with IC – student, alumni, faculty and staff – would like to have a mascot, and most people in every category were supportive of one of the three finalist options. However, the minority opposed to having a mascot is large enough and impassioned enough that what began as an initiative to personify Bomber pride instead served as a wedge issue to divide us. Consequently, I have decided that we will discontinue the search for a mascot. We will remain the Bombers as always intended, though without a physical and visual representation. You can find additional information on the mascot conclusion points of interest page.
I greatly value the interest so many people showed in the search for a mascot. Regardless of where one stands on whether we should have a mascot, this process showed how much our students, alumni, faculty and staff care about the symbols connected with Ithaca College. We remain deeply connected by pride in our past achievements and commitment to our future aspirations.