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Posted by Thomas Rochon at 11:16AM   |  116 comments
Ithaca College Official Mascot Logo for the Ithaca Bombers.

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. 


116 Comments

I mean, it's a bummer that we don't have a mascot. But couldn't all of this have just been avoided if we went with the bomber pilot idea?

Are we that against it that we wouldn't have a mascot at all? Let's be serious here.

Thank you for ultimately listening to what we all had to say instead of just pushing through what you think would have been best. It shows you're commitment to this community and that means a lot.

Dear President Rochon,

Thank you. As always, we are Bomber Proud!!

Sincerely,
Tom Baker

A wise decision, Tom! Thank you so much for both your friendship and your continued leadership as the President of Ithaca College. God bless and keep you! And, God bless and keep Ithaca College!
GO BOMBERS!!

Even from the heart of Cajun Country, I've only got one thing to say:

Geaux Bombers!!

So glad this search has been concluded, and we can go forward with our Bomber Pride.

Dear President Rochon,

Thank you for listening to those of us on the outside who carry a great deal of Bomber Pride. Today is certainly a great day to be a Bomber.

Regards,
Will Weiss

Thank you for listening President Rochon. It's a GREAT day to be a BOMBER!!

Good choice.

Thank you,
John Ryan 2003

brack brack brack....that's a chicken if you can't tell. when you conduct a search for a mascot, i expect a MASCOT!

So glad that there is still no mascot....

its just not who we are and would be weird to implement it now. it was bad enough that there are corny street signs on campus now when i came back to visit. change can be good, but sometimes sticking with the traditions is best! i actually always loved how there was no mascot and was sad when i found out this was changing! but its not, so THANKS :) :) Go bombers!!!!

Smart move. Thank you.

Just a curiosity question,

What is wrong with a WWI or II era bomber pilot, with the helmet and scarf, as a mascot? What is/was wrong with that to begin with?

I guess this idea really BOMBED!! Go Bombers!!!

I think this whole process was a big win for Bomber pride, no matter the outcome.

Thanks IC for listening to everyone... Go Bombers!

Dear Tom,

Thank you for listening to the voice of the alumni who did not support this initiative. You have earned my respect and trust and, as always, it's a great day to be a Bomber!

John Simon

I'm happy that Tom decided to go with what the Ithaca community decided but I didn't realize that I graduated from a school with so many kill-joys. Really? You don't want a mascot? Is Kegs and Eggs for the Cortaca Jug the only tradition IC students get?

So disappointed in my fellow graduates.

I don't see why the mascot just can't be an old-school fighter pilot. Leather helmet, goggles, Bomber Jacket, scarf, etc.

Just like David Bentley proposed.

It sounds perfect.

Thank you for not picking one of those silly ideas... I am not a flying squirrel, lake monster or phoenix.

I am a Bomber!

GO BOMBERS!

For me, the issue is not so much the mascot as it is the name of the team: 'Bombers' denotes a bygone era that makes IC seem dated and quaint, not hip, happening and 21st century. It's a bit of an embarrassment, actually. Maybe the search should be for an update team name. Then the mascot idea would flow more organically.

I am so ashamed of this whole thing. What a ridiculous and colossal waste of time. Can we please stop wasting time and money on athletics? I mean first 10 mil on that new building now this time suck? How about we focus on getting and keeping better professors or keeping kids from living in common rooms and trailers?

I'm going to go ahead and cosign what Matt Portman said.

I find it a bit ridiculous that a college that fosters such creativity can't find a means of embodying its spirit in a mascot. Providing a figure to cheer and laugh with is such a basic part of "branding" our alma mater and generating a feeling of connection to our school that it seems long overdue.

I grew up going to Big Red football games with my father who is a Cornell alumni. The "Big Red" Bear became part of my childhood memories. And the football games and celebrations afterwards were wonderful times I wouldn't trade for a warm sunny day in December.

Ithaca College has lost an opportunity to generate team spirit and a collegial feeling amongst its graduates and alumni. What a sad day for IC. Perhaps that is why my financial support and contributions still go to a scholarship fund at Cornell....a university I never attended, but one I feel a great attachment to through childhood memories which include a Bear cheering on Ed Marinaro and the Big Red Football Team.

GO BOMBERS!!!

I think the Phoenix should have wings of fire, worn a BOMBERS helmet, with goggles, green and gold scarf AND carry a football that reads, "IC BOMBERS PRIDE" in it's talons! FIERCE!!

Gosh, am I late to this party?

Personally, 'when I went to Ithaca I always wondered what in the world was meant by being a Bomber. Was that something that was bad and that "bombed", or was that something that was destructive like a bomb? Whoever came up with "Bombers" didn't do any of us any favors. I've been heckled by my own family about the "Bombers". Ithaca should just get rid of it until something more descriptive comes up. One thing all of us would agree upon is that it sure is Windy at Ithaca. Oh gee, something descriptive "The Ithaca Hurricanes". Folks, it doesn't take a survey and hundreds of people's input. It take a leader with a little input to make the change AND THATS THAT. Wishy washy decisions are embarrassing.

Athletics vs Academics, that isn't what matters here.
It's the pride of Ithaca College.
It's the pride of one's alma mater: it's students, faculty, staff, administrators, and alumni.
To divide us would weaken us.
Instead today, we stand together, united as Bombers.

What a great day to be a Bomber!!!

The Flying Squirrel was too cool and the monster would have been neat too. I think the status quo is a good way to go.

Wow, I'm impressed IC didn't go through with the absurd contradiction of "Bomber the Phoenix" or "Bomber the Flying Squirrel." Count this one as a victory for philosophical consistency. Maybe there's still hope yet...

JML

Dear President Rochon:

You are to be commended as our President in making the decision you did on this matter. A tough decision to make, yet extremely reasoned and wise. The last thing we all wanted was a divided Ithaca community, and this would have done just that and caused the college to lose a lot of support. Congratulations on doing what great leaders do Ė leading with intelligence, insight and dignity and respecting everyoneís views.

Scott Guibord
Class of 1972

I am sick and tired of crybabies getting their way. Get the mascot and tell the whiners who don't like it to take a hike. "Inclusiveness" is simply weakness.

I'm sort of surprised THAT many people are this passionate about it. Personally, I don't really care. My memories on the south hill wouldn't have been enhanced or detracted because of a squirrel, a lake monster or a WWII era bomber man. Some schools have a great tradition with mascots, so that can't be compared to us. We don't have that tradition, so it's probably best we not force one.

I wasn't in a state about a mascot for IC one way or the other. However, I don't think I like that the "squeaky wheel got the oil" this time as there was clearly a majority in favor of a mascot.

Your vote shouldn't count more or less because you are heartily in favor of a proposition or not. You get one vote, just like everyone else. If one "side" loses and they are distraught over it, another vote should be called and the "losing" side given the opportunity to influence more votes to their side. They shouldn't just "win" because they made the most noise.

Flying squirrels, Lake monsters and a Phoenix - Oh My!

Too much #3 goin' on...

bomber |ˈbšmər|
noun
1.) an aircraft designed to carry and drop bombs.

2.) a person who plants, detonates, or throws bombs in a public place, esp. as a terrorist.

3.) informal a cigarette containing marijuana.

4.) short for bomber jacket .

I am thankful that as a student, I received a great education and had the privilege of associating myself with IC Bomber athletics, even though I did not compete as an athlete. Being a fan of the Bombers gave me a sense of pride. I have and will always bleed bomber blue and gold. Thank you for making a decision that keeps us united.

While I am one of the ambivalent and kind of could care less about the mascot idea, I am left feeling a bit annoyed that there was so much time, energy and money thrown into the idea of a mascot search and then nothing happened. It is disappointing that all of the time and effort of people was generally wasted on this project and we are left with nothing new. Change is good folks, sometimes decisions are tough. For the alumni, I hope we did not just take away from the students who are there in a selfish manner.

Very sad. After all this time and somehow we got the worst possible situation. We still have a team name affiliated with war and misery. What a terrible decision by our school's president. No surprises that the bureaucracy at this school is still incompetent at making capable decisions.

What sort of university doesn't have a mascot. How could anyone call this Bomber pride. I am ashamed.

IC seemed to invest a good deal of time and attention into the mascot search. The failure to choose a mascot reflects negatively on the institution.

I received multiple e-mails over the past year about the mascot search process. Every single e-mail is phrased in a way that led me to believe that a mascot would be chosen.

You shouldn't promise something you can't deliver. I hope President Rochon learns from this.

Honestly, it's a D3 school. Who would the mascot serve? The football team? The basketball team? The baseball or maybe the lacrosse team? Leave the pointless spending on mascots to D1 schools and their corrupt athletics programs.

As an outsider, this just sounds weird. "We had a lot of positive feedback, but instead decided to cater to a vocal, whiny minority." Sounds like someone with big pockets felt the need to threaten to remove funding for a silly, petty issue like a new mascot.

I would like to think if I were president of a college, I wouldn't let that kind of stuff sway me. If you're a bully, I don't want your money.

But again, I'm an outsider. So I don't know how I would feel if it were my alma mater. But it just smells bad, and in my experience, if it walks like a duck..

What a dreadful decision as a leader, allowing an outspoken minority to overrule a passionate majority. I suppose a few vegans wouldn't mind much if meat wasn't served in the dining halls any longer as well. Poorly played sir, poorly played.

Great day to be a Bomber, this was a joke from the start, kudos to President Rochon for finally listening to the alumni and canning this absurd idea.

Gee - way to vote "present!" If this was going to divide the IC community, maybe it was never that strong in the first place?!?! One of the reasons I hesitate to give money to the school is the fact that it is ALL you want from the community. I couldn't even fill out an online profile to join the new site without you asking how much I thought I was likely to give. I stopped joining at that point. Did each of the the rowdy thirds threaten to withdraw funding? Finally, you engage the community in something other than fundraising and you freeze in the headlights. What a huge, crowdsourcing fail (and most likely waste of staff time & money). My guess is Peggy Williams would have had more cajones on this issue.

I'm confused. When I was at IC, we had a fighter pilot mascot that ran around at the games. What happened to him?

President Rochon,

Thank you for listening to the opinions of all and for making a well-thought-out and, what I can imagine was, a difficult decision.

I am delighted to hear that "not just any" mascot was chosen. We are, afterall, the IC Bombers--a unqiue and difficult pack to personify.

Khrista Trerotola, 2007 and a 4yr Varsity Bomber

This is a relatively unimportant issue, yet a great deal of money was spent and tempers have flared over a created and unnecessary controversy. My advice is for everybody to get over it, and focus on topics of greater long-term consequence.

I agree with the decision.

No point in choosing an option that offends a significant part of the Ithaca family.

The ideal solution will appeal to most, and offend very few. Bravo for resisting the choice to "choose NOW". Perhaps in the future!

I never understood why IC needed to search for a new mascot and what was wrong with the Bomber pilot mascot in the first place. I remember the mascot with his jacket, scarf, goggles and helmet at football games from 1999-2003. Can someone explain what the problem with him is?

Was fun to watch the process leading to ultimately a good decision i.e. better not to have a mascot than pick a "lame" one. "He who fights and runs...lives to fight another day" ! TP

I always assumed that the name "Bombers" referred to one of these: http://www.442fw.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123069478 That's what it should be, in my humble opinion.

"The Mascot Selection Task Force received over 250 ideas, which they narrowed down to three finalists..."
Really?? Out of 250 ideas the squirrel, the lake monster and the phoenix were the best ones? I was hoping those were the "round 1" choices. I support having "no mascot" (although I distinctly remember a fighter pilot at football games) as opposed to one of these choices.

I support this decision.

Hooray! I can proudly bleed Bomber blue and gold!

How about "Cayuga the Flying Squirrel"?

Bombers is too militaristic.

Thank you, President Rochon, for making what was undoubtedly a difficult choice. I believe it was the right one.

I was visiting Ithaca this weekend and was astounded at the amount of progress that's been made on the building projects across campus. That change is necessary and good. But sometimes, as I think we discovered during this mascot search process, change for the sake of change doesn't equal progress.

One of the main reasons that makes IC special is how rich in Tradition it is. For as far back as I can remember It's been Bombers, period. I came to Ithaca because of it's Tradition in outstanding Academics and Athletics, not because of a mascot. Great decision to keep it as is. My house bleeds Bomber blue, through and through.

Thank you!! What a waste of time, effort and money that could be re-directed towards another area.

wow, goes to show you what kind of administration runs this college. Wastes OUR time, OUR opinions, and worst of all OUR MONEY!!! Tuition has gone up 10% in two years!!! ITS 50 GRAND TO GO HERE PEOPLE! This is where our money goes!! I find it appalling that in this economic climate, such bureaucratic B.S just gets swept under the carpet. What kind of example does our "president" want to set? Sorry for being so opinionated but I've been fed up with the appropriation of EVERYONES money here for a while. Think people!!

Embrace the Bomber!

Amazing how devisive this became. But not surprising considering how passionate Bomber fans are (and always have been). Good decision President Rochon. Bomber pride - wear your blue and gold!!!
Hey, maybe fans simply wear bomber jackets to games from here on out???

Thank you for being listening to those of us who responded. Bomber pride lives on. GO BOMBERS!!!

Wow! Glad to know that faculty time and school funds were spent on this riveting issue while Ithaca "accidently" overbooks enrollment and forces students to live in lounges.

Where can I send my alumni check?

I personally did not like any of the proposed mascots. However, this speaks to the fact that the BRANDING of IC is all over the place. I know there are efforts underway to re-brand, re-logo, etc. This is MUCH needed and can serve the marketing/communication needs of the institution well.

I'm very disappointed that a minority of the IC community deterred our quest for school spirit, especially when it was (as president Rochon stated several months ago when there was outcry from alumni) for current students. I think it's very sad that we could not see eye to eye, and I hope that we can have a mascot in the near future that everyone can agree upon.

I am so happy that I haven't sent any money to Ithaca because it would have been wasted. There aren't enough dorms for students, there aren't enough updated class rooms, and there needs to be more parking closer to classes, yet what is obviously the main issue is what our mascot is? That is ridiculous in every way. While I have never understood what a Bomber exactly is or how it ties into the Ithaca College community, we are a D3 school and our focus should remain on our outstanding academics, not stupid issues like a Mascot. Do we really need a mascot for a yearly Cortaca Jug and maybe some swim meets? The answer is no. Spend our money elsewhere please!

What students, faculty, and alumni should have pride in is NOT the mascot (i.e. Bomber pride), but pride in the entire college! I have pride in my teachers and in my education because I loved the four years that I spent there. Whether I was a bomber or a phoenix or a water bottle didn't effect that!

I just wanted to respond to this comment and say that while funds may have been spent on looking into this idea, I am certain the administration had good intentions. Additionally, admissions is a very difficult process to project and no school can ever know how many student that they accept will accept them back. So, no need to use accidentaly in quotations because it was (and always will be) an unintentional occurance to "overbook" enrollment.

-----------------------------------------
Jason P. '10 said,
Wow! Glad to know that faculty time and school funds were spent on this riveting issue while Ithaca "accidently" overbooks enrollment and forces students to live in lounges.

Where can I send my alumni check?



What's wrong with a visual representation of a bomber pilot? If it weren't for them we'd all be speaking German today

Sad lesson for students at Ithaca college who voted and a disappointing result for students who put a lot of time and effort into this project. I hope the nasty comments about the three choices on public web pages were not actually considered valid "feedback". Students were surveyed, students voted, a mascot was chosen. What happened?

The mascot search was a great effort by the students and administration to bring together the Ithaca community. I am very surprised that searching for a positive representation of our school brought so much distress to some of the Ithaca College alumni. It's a mascot, people. It was supposed to be a fun search, and I am a bit ashamed to see fellow alumni respond so immaturely.

I see both sides -- of course, you would like to keep it old school and have the attitude of "Once a Bomber, always a Bomber." However, the times are a'changin, and with violence and war surrounding us, why could we not have made the simple choice to have a positive and uplifting mascot (instead of one that is the representation of war.)

At the end of the day, I don't really care either way because I am no longer a student of the college. However, the student support of this mascot search was AMAZING. So many students & alum & faculty were excited about this new change. But all it took was a few alumni who were afraid of change and holding onto their college years to eliminate this happy contest. And did you know it would not have changed the Bomber name? We could have been the Ithaca Bombers -- but with Bomber the Phoenix as our mascot (perhaps). That was the point of the search. Now, we still have no mascot. And future students of Ithaca College will forever remain confused as to what is the mascot of this school.

Really, Ithaca College alumni? Come on.

You darn hippies always get your way.

I propose a completely new idea: The Ithaca GORGES

There are already a crap-load of t-shirts out there, I just saved you greedy SOBs a ton of doug. You can make an official logo with a bad ass waterfall destroying some athletic equipment.

You're welcome

Just what we need a crazy mascot running around football, basketball and whatever other games being annoying (& scary to some adults and kids) Let's be inclusive and not keep those in the IC community who secretly fear mascots from attending this fine institution or it's sporting events. lol

*dough

Just because these old people don't want a mascot, doesn't mean that you shouldn't listen to the people CURRENTLY PAYING FOR AN EDUCATION AT ITHACA COLLEGE.

You are a wise man President Rochon. It had became clear that no matter how hard the search committee tried
we would never gain widespread support for the choice
of a mascot. So let's move on, mascot-less, put on a Snoopy helmet and 'Go Bombers.' And for those still complaining that nothing was decided, get over it!

We should be proud of OUR traditions and honor our greatest generation! Restore a B-17/B-24 Bomber and park it on South Hill. Without them and our current generation rooting evil where it hides, we wouldn't have the luxury of political correctness!

It's truly a Great Day to be a Bomber!

I strongly support the decision to cease the search for a mascot. I'd also support dropping the name "Bombers" completely. Ithaca College is a cool place and deserves a fitting name for it's teams, etc.
Phil Cormier, 1983 Cinema

A wise decision. Thanks for communicating with us throughout the process.

Go Bombers!

Phil, what in gods name are you talking about. You want to drop "Bombers" as well. Why don't you take your services to Cortland and help out with the Red Dragons campaign. I am proud to be a Bomber and don't need a flying squirrel to represent that. I would be embarrassed by any representation of Bombers other than that guy who ran around the stands in a beat up old bomber jacket with the leather hat and goggles. That is our mascot, and we never needed a search committee to go out and replace him. To drop the "Bombers" or change it would be a disgrace to IC and would force me to take my license plate border off of my car signifying my love for IC. WE ARE BOMBERS, don't turn us into Cortland with some tacky mascot.

As evidenced by the obvious alumni discontent, it is obvious where Rochon's loyalties lie: money. If IC would stop trying to make money from meat heads and put academics first, maybe would have a bit more prestige and avoid these kind of blunders. I wonder where all the money for that pretty new athletic phallus is coming from anyway...

Let's stick with the Bomber Pilot like we used to have. This whole change is going too far with being PC.

President Rochon-
My thanks to you for making what had to be a disappointing decision. I want to applaud your willingness to listen and communicate to all of the IC community and take all of our questions, comments and passion into consideration before making this decision.

I also want to thank Christopher Pollack, who responded to my letter I sent you back at the beginning of this process and someone who was always accessible and communicated with many of us via phone and e-mail. He seemed genuinely interested in our concerns and tried to address them as best that he could. He is a great asset to Ithaca College.

Lastly, my thanks to everyone involved for your time, efforts and passion. Whether pro or con, I believe that everyone has Ithaca in their heart and are all great examples of Bomber Pride !!!

Best Regards,
Chris Bovi '90

To President Rochon and all others involved in the mascot search:

I would have genuinely appreciated a mascot for my first year at Ithaca. To say the least, I am disappointed. I was actually hoping for the flying squirrel to be chosen, but just a plain bomber pilot mascot would have more than sufficed. It doesn't seem to make sense that a college lacks a mascot to energize a crowd rooting for our Ithaca Bombers.

Secondly, it has come to my attention that much of the decision making fell on the opinions of alumni. While it is my belief that they should have some vocal power in regards to the college's politics, undergraduates (like myself) are currently paying the tuition fees- and therefore, we should have more of a say in such issues. Besides, a very good majority of the incoming class (most of them, I believe) would have liked a mascot.

And while I sincerely hope this decision is appealed, I hope everything turns out for the best.

Warm Regards,
Jordan Frey

I'm stunned that the mascot search was dropped. Did I like the choices? No. Would I have been upset by being a lake beast, squirrel, or Phoenix? Surely.

But at the end of the day, this process was transparent and each of us who bothered to have our emails registered got a chance to speak now or forever hold our peace. In our great country majority votes rule. Not squeaky wheels. Not those who threaten, berate, insult etc as many seemed to have chosen to do.

President Rochon, you were in a no win situation it's clear. And I actually get why you chose the conclusion you did....because the anti mascot squeaky wheels would have kept squeaking even after the dust settled while the pro mascot supporters would fade away far more quickly because they did not have anywhere near the persistence of the anti mascot contingent.

I am dissapointed, not because I wanted a mascot but because the results reported do not support the conclusion as indicated. Good thing IC saved money on having to market a new mascot because it looks like they need an anti-bullying campaign far more.



I would be very interested to actually see the full results of the survey. I understand from communications that I have read from the school that there is not an intention to release the data from this survey, so who can truly say if there was any conclusion that could have been reached?

As an alumni of the college who was there when there was a physical representation of the WWII Bomber Pilot "Bomberman", I am not against a mascot. I have memories of being rallied by the Bomberman during football games. My concern was the very specific criteria to exclude any sort of pilot (the seemingly logical choice to go with IC Bombers), as well as the inability in the survey to indicate a preference of none of these.

Some have said that there was much student-driven excitement in this process...I have not seen such on websites, these responses, etc. I was not on campus during this time...I truly cannot speak to this. It is truly difficult to say what was in those surveys without the results, so everyone truly is speculating (unless there is published data that I have not yet seen) as to WHY the mascot was not chosen, and whose opinions were heard.

My opinion though...I think President Rochon did the right thing, given the choices he had after the survey results were in. Better no mascot than one we truly cannot be proud of, just for the sake of "Branding".

Should have just used a "bomber" plane mascot, like one from WWII. A plane really isn't as offensive as people make it out to be. It's a plane, not a tank. A WWII plane could have stood for the unselfish commitment that generation made to our great country. People are way to politically correct these days and need to loosen up.

We need a new name-then the mascot becomes easy. As long as we have a violent, destuctive name (inappropriate for an institution of higher learning)like Bombers it causes problems with creating a physical representative of the name. Perhaps a name from Greek mythology would be more in keeping with a School named after the home of Ulysses. The Titans, Trojans, etc.

Class of 1995
I am so disappointed and was looking forward to reading about and viewing the winning mascot. When I learned about the initiative to create an image associated to the IC Bombers, I took the time to complete the survey. Can I have my time back? What happened to majority rules? Take a stand! It's not too late! Choose a mascot and those who don't agree will learn to accept it. You can even consider creating another PR diversion and this controversy, too, will become yesterday's news.

This was a really tough situation, that was going to upset/disappoint some people regardless of the outcome. I think it is the best decision under the circumstances and I thank the President for actually listening to our feedback.

Too bad the vast group of undergrads who despair at how little cohesion of identity exists at the school, and who asked for a mascot to address the issue, didn't have a loud-mouthed, insulting, offensive person to champion our cause, like you-know-who.

Let's say school spirit can be measured in attendance at football games - would a mascot, and the sense of accomplishment this process might have given the undergraduates, have put more bodies in seats? I think so. Instead the embarrassing, immature rhetoric that floated around these comment threads has made at least me deeply embarrassed that I chose this school.

The only reason I would suggest anyone considering coming is for the very specific purpose of a music degree, a communications degree, or a musical theater degree. And then as soon as you can, get out and never come back.

I have felt generally this way for awhile, but the utter, embarrassing failure of this initiative is the final straw. It honestly feels like a huge portion of the alumni has stated to the undergrads that we should have no say whatsoever at Ithaca College, in the name of defending a tradition that, I'll be totally honest with you guys, survives as a joke.

I have watched every student-originated idea for change at the school be choked by either the administration, or now, the alumni. It has taught me to stop trying to found or improve anything. It's just a waste of time.

We were just excited for positive change - getting something. A mascot would have been cool, and made me for once happy to talk about being a bomber.

Seriously, you guys? "Bomber experience"? That's a joke, right?

If anyone wants to email me directly, please do. It would be nice to know that ANYONE in this institution wants to listen to ME.

Icsenior@yahoo.com

I just think the alumni who are so happy should take a look in the mirror.

There are 6,000 undergrads who, even if they couldn't agree on which mascot, were excited about the proactive approach being taken. We all eagerly checked in to find out the results - only to find out that an offensive, mean-spirited contingent of old people just had to ruin this for the 6,000 of us who pay $50k a year.

All we wanted was more spirit. What we got was insulting alumni. It's difficult to describe the sinking feeling I (and those I've talked to since I read this) are feeling. It's sad.

Good decision by President Rochon. To go forward would certainly have been too divisive given the reaction to the three finalists. I am just sorry that the search process was so driven by political correctness as to exclude military related entries. We are Bombers, after all. There is nothing wrong with having Bomberman or something like that as a mascot finalist. At any rate, it was good to see such Bomber pride show itself on all sides in the process.

I would like to find out how much money we wasted on this effort?

And with that, Ithaca College teaches us one more lesson: a large democratic vote will always piss people off, even if it's about something that objectively does not matter.

Here's what would happen if 3 people had been selected as the mascot committee: Choose a squirrel/phoenix/w/e over night. Put it on t-shirts. Announce it on the website. Some alumnae will say, "That's cool." Some will say, "That's stupid." All will forget about it within a month, because really, we have jobs and kids and other stuff to care about.

Some students will say, "That's cool." Some will say, "That's stupid." All students will flunk, leave, or graduate, after which they will not care because they're concerned with relationships, studies, and finding a job.

New students will not even think about it. The change has been grandfathered in. They will buy t-shirts, as they do now, but there will be squirrels/monsters on them.

I appreciate that the default setting for everything in this country happens to be: "more democratic= more good," but democracy will always make some folks super-happy, most largely unbothered, and some super-sad.

Now, when you're choosing a president or senator or something like that, such feelings are a necessary evil that goes along with (hopefully) getting the best possible candidate into office.

When it's something that won't affect anyone who isn't currently going to football games on campus (which if I remember correctly is about 2% of the small student population), then you just put a man in a squirrel suit with goggles on, slap his butt and say, "Go get 'em, Rocky."

So choose on, Rochon, whatever animal tickles your fancy. I don't even care if it's the one people voted on (who will even know if it's not?). I don't care if it's not one that was on the list (yeti, anyone?). Just give us the false idol we paid for and have done with this life-lesson.

President Rachon,
The pride instilled in me from my IC experience and my association as a "BOMBER" echos constantly in all areas of my life! Thanks for not changing tradition!
Could you ever imagine the yankees without pinstripes!
Sincerely,
Dick Timpano'79

So minority rules? It says right there in the statement, "A substantial majority...would like to have a mascot". However, "... the minority opposed to having a mascot is large enough...to divide us". So what their saying is the majority of us wanted a new mascot, but not enough of a majority? How does that make any sense? Let's go ask Al Gore . . .

@Disheartened Senior...WOW! I am shocked that you feel that there is "little cohesion of identity" at Ithaca. I feel kinda bad that your experience at Ithaca wasn't a wonderful as mine was or the thousands of alumni who feel it was some of their best and greatest years. "Bomber Experience" is not a joke. Many, many, many current students signed the petition against the mascot search. Therefore, to say that 6000 students wanted this, that is a gross exaggeration. I am proud to be an Ithaca Alum. I am proud of the education I received. You will be an alumni soon and will want your voice heard when that day comes. Ithaca taught me to be assertive, well-spoken, respectful, tactful, and to never ever give up. That is what the alumni who were involved in this issue did. We used every means necessary to fight for our cause, and for that I will not apologize. As stated above...there was no majority. It was split 3 ways. This is the appropriate decision at this time. Perhaps us "old people" as you so tactfully put it in your post, have some distance and perspective on Ithaca College that you will come have in time. In your words "that we should have no say whatsoever at Ithaca College, in the name of defending a tradition that, I'll be totally honest with you guys, survives as a joke." A joke? To me the term "Bombers" pays respect to the greatest generation.

Kim Faulkner Riley - Thank you! Right on!

For those who feel this doesnít matter or that there is no pride or Bomber experience, I feel sorry for the time you spent at the college without actually being apart of it. Bomber pride is not just for athletics. It is the College as a whole. If you never took the time to live it, you will never understand how important it is to the alumni.

Thank you President Rochon.

Once a Bomber, Always a Bomber.

Of all of the alumni email news items that I've been receiving for the last 10 years, this was the first one that I actually was excited about, and was interested about following. Personally, I was rooting for the squirrel, because it flies like a bomber - it could have even had a pilot hat and goggles or something - but any of the proposed choices would have looked great on a shirt, and would have given the college more of an identity. What a colossal waste of time this turned out to be, and what an embarrassing example of waffling on behalf of those involved in this decision this event surely is. Every time I see the film "PCU," it reminds me more and more of my alma mater for some strange reason...

When I submitted my survey, I felt that the representations of "Rocky" from Bullwinkle, the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and that "not so tough looking bird" with a baseball? in its talons were absolutely ridiculous and did not represent our school nickname of the "BOMBERS".

The pilot with the scarf, leather helmet, Bomber jacket and goggles has always been a great Mascot and depiction for our school name.

The assertion that "Bombers" and the Pilot represent war, destruction, violence or misery is ludicrous. It could also represent freedom, Liberty, justice and the hard fought Peace that our servicemen and women have earned for our country and the World throughout history.

Enough political discussion . . . should the NY Jets change their name, because Jets drop bombs, should Miami ban it's name the "Hurricanes" because of the death and destruction they have caused, how about the "Cyclones", "Tsunami", "Earthquakes" and jeez . . . don't get me started on the "Tornadoes". Hundreds, maybe thousands of schools (Pro, College, High School, etc.) have names that in some way COULD denote, violence, destruction, death and misery . . . imagine if you or a loved one were ever attacked by "Bears" or "Lions", Lol! It's just a school name to denote the toughness, tenacity and strength of your athletic team and of school pride. Please . . .

I believe Students should have a say in the process but LESS than Alumni. If current students could pick the name and Mascot, it would be changing every 4 years based on what the current student population wanted at that time . . . that's Ridiculous!!

Stick with the "Bombers" as it denotes decades of students who loved their school, cultivated what exists today and is steeped in tradition.

However I do believe that current students should have a Mascot as well . . .

KEEP THE PILOT AS OUR MASCOT!!

I was really discouraged by the 3 mascots selected: of 250 submissions, those were the most encouraging candidates? Laughable at best. What would have been wrong with a WWII era pilot? The city of Ithaca made a valuable contribution to the Second World War, and the name "Bomber" honours that. I'm proud of that, and no matter how jaded you are about the history of the United States military or current involvements overseas...you ought to be as well.

I am even more discouraged by the fact that President Rochon gave in to what he admitted was a minority movement. However vocal they might be, they are still a minority, mostly represented by alumni like myself. We all get one vote, and that's that...in a democracy, you don't get to throw a fit and get your way if the majority that wins out isn't representative of what you want.

Another thing that concerns me: how much money was spent on this iniative? How much money was just thrown away because of a vocal minority? And how many people generously volunteered their time and ideas to this cause? I'm sorry that they wasted their time :(

Honestly, this type of nonsense is representative of two things: 1) President Rochon is more concerned about maintaining alum relations because there is profit in it and (that's hardly new...) 2) We are truly living in a generation of self-important, entitled brats. Welcome to the "me" generation!

The Idea that the college leadership was listening and acting in the best interest of the students in this search is crazy. First of all this process could have been handled by the campus and community at large. We have students that study very aspect of this issue, how mascots are perceived (sports studies & marketing), to the visual of a mascot(Art & Park) and how to successfully communicate and launch such a large scale change in a college tradition (Park). With the current enrollment and the use of alumni we could have had a great mascot.The idea that this was not a collaboration of the whole Ithaca College community saddens me as we go forward as a community.

"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."

Mr. Rochon:

Can you please provide a percentage figure for this minority, based on the number of survey responses and other communications received? And can you provide a methodology for declaring a response "in favor of" or "against" a mascot, when "none of the above" was not a survey choice?

Also, is it honest of you to say that the people opposed to the three finalists are against having a mascot?

@Kim Faulkner Riley ... You echo the sentiments of the 2,061 of us on the "Save The Bomber" Facebook group. The issue was not the search for a physical representation. It was, on some level, the process, the result, and the ensuing level of communication and disenfranchisement that was felt not only among the alumni community off-campus, but among on-campus alumni -- some of whom are professors and/or coaches.

@Disheartened Senior ... I'm sorry you feel the way you do. I have dedicated a great deal of time as an alumnus promoting the college, as an Alumni Admissions Representative, being active with the Sport Management and Media major and their efforts in various ways, and overall, trying to give back to a place that gave so much to me. As a student, while I did not compete as a Bomber athlete, I was well in tune with Bomber athletics, having been involved with ICTV, WICB and VIC, broadcasting on Bombers Athletics from Day 1. There is a phrase on a Bombers Athletics T-Shirt that I received as a gift that on the back says, "What it Means to Be a Bomber" ... one of the entries is "You've never seen your mascot." It's meant as a joke, but also as a sense of pride. This was created by the students to acknowledge that a physical representation of a Bomber isn't all that necessary to create a feeling of pride or spirit. Michigan, Indiana, Stanford, Dartmouth, Harvard, Tulane, Pepperdine ... All schools with high spirit levels, do not have a physical mascot. They fill their stadiums and arenas for both sports and academics.

If there was a vast group of undergrads who "despair at how little cohesion of identity exists at the school," I'd ask you to speak to another vast group of undergrads who disagrees with you. Was there immature rhetoric during this process? Yes. We experienced it on the FB group and saw it in other outlets. At times it got personal and a bit off-putting. But mostly there was also intelligent discourse among alumni and students who were trying to get correct information. Myself included. I had heard things secondhand and asked questions, was shot down, and feel better that I was more informed.

I asked several dozen high school seniors who were considering IC if they would choose the school if any of the three finalists were actually a physical representation of the name "Bombers" and the results were mixed. Some laughed, snickered and said, "No." Others said they didn't care. Others asked what either of those three have to do with being a Bomber.

The results of my informal survey were similar to this search. When you don't have a clear, definitive answer, best to go back to the drawing board. In that sense, President Rochon made the right decision. Even if there was no grassroots movement, the result would have divided the community at-large (which tens of thousands of alumni), so the PR backlash would have been tremendous no matter what happened. President Rochon bears the brunt of that, fairly or unfairly.

What we learn from this is what some of us knew all along: you don't need a mascot to market the college. Look to the strength in the programs that have made the school great, the students and alumni who are thriving and have thrived, and use those elements to build the community. The Bomber experience is whatever you want it to be.

It's always been that way.

Thanks for listening to everyone. That's refreshing. I agree with those that think IC should go with the old-school bomber pilot. In fact, until this search started, I thought that WAS the mascot.

I think the problem with President Rochon's statement is that some of use were counted twice (As I posted on the Facebook group):

According to the Presidnet, the majority of the people "wanted" a mascot, which makes it look like he yielded to a "vocal minority" (pointing finger at us). Except he counted us twice. First, as part of the majority that want a mascot - Bomberman. Then, as the vocal minority who thought this whole thing was stupid.

Ah, manipulation of statistics is such a wonderful thing....

The real issue of course is that the Bomber name doesn't really fit the essence of what Ithaca College is. A school that's located in such an artistic and academic town that's at one with nature and prides itself on progressive beliefs and the environment, just doesn't jive with the image and violence of a bomber. The contradiction, on some level, makes some of us uncomfortable and the search for a mascot brought those repressed feelings to the surface.

With so much pride and tradition tied into the name, I can understand why people don't want to change it. Few people want to change the offensive Cleveland Indians mascot or change the tomahawk chop mantra of the Atlanta Braves. I just hoped IC would be better than that. While change is usually initially uncomfortable, I thought any of the three options fit the school better than an image associated with war and bloodshed. And in a decade or so, a whole new group of alumni could've had a symbol they could get nostalgic about. In a generation, the idea of the days before a mascot would be a memory. Now though, we'll have to wait longer. In the meantime, the school won't have any one unified image to stand behind. Focused energy is always stronger.

The one aspect of all this that does fit with IC, is that it is one of the only schools without a mascot and that makes it different. Then again, I'd originally thought that the Textor Hall silver fish would've made a great one, since it's already part of the school's mythology. Perhaps we can look into that for our next search some time in 2021. Unless, it's rolled down the hill by then.

As a 1968 grad. I suppose you could say that I really am "Old School" and I would bet that many of the older alumni who responded to the three selections for a mascott were as discusted as I was with the choices. Other alumni that I talked with all agreed that the word "Bomber" is pretty self explanatory and how that is associated with lake monsters and flying squirrels is a real mystery. If there had been a choice related to bombs or military pilots the results would probably have united the college community instead of dividing it. At least us "Old Schoolers" would have had a choice that meant something. Students who served on the selection committee should take a lesson from the outcome and think of what previous students might envision as a mascott. To those who feel that everything we do or every choice we make has to be politically correct I have some advice: "GET OVER IT".

When I initially read this announcement I was pleased with the outcome and continue to be. I was of the opinion from the start that a mascot search was hardly what Ithaca needed to be spending time and resources on. In this day and age it would seem that academics and scholarships are a much better way to spend $1000 than a disorganized mascot search that ultimately ended up dividing a community.

Upon re-reading this announcement, I realize just how smug and convoluded it is. It serves to only divide our community further. This is fuzzy math at best. If the survey results were divided into three groups, two of which chose either 'D- none of the above' from the choices, or wanted to mascot at all, it would seem to me that two thirds of those surveyed (a MAJORITY) ultimately did not want a mascot to be selected from the process as it was. Further, Rochon states that: "the minority opposed to having a mascot is large enough..." That, by definition, sounds like a majority! His mincing of words has led readers to believe that the administration was forced to concede to a whiney minority of "old" alumni. Since no hard numbers are being released, that will leave the IC community wondering how we really made it to this decision, and probably always divided over this issue. I find this sad, especially since there has never been a dividing issue between students and alumni in my time associated with the college. I wish the administration had done a bit more research and planning before embarking on this issue to avoid reaching the crossroads we have clearly reached today.

While I'm glad I won't be seeing any Lake Beast tshirts in the bookstore during my next visit, I am disheartened by the way this issue was handled and continues to be handled by the administration. I hope we can all find a way to move past it and celebrate the amazing institution Ithaca College is.

If we are so concerned with filling seats in the football stadium as a way to boost "spirit" why don't we move to Division 1 and stop pretending like we're a D1 school? Then we can pay athletes and coaches absurd amounts of money to attract people to watch IC sports!

I really don't understand the big deal with the Bomber mascot. Old? Sure. Dated? Sure... but its US. This is silly. I didn't like the new ideas either, I will always be a bomber and that will ALWAYS be my mascot, in memory if nothing else. Let's not be soooooooooo ridiculously concerned with what people think of us.

I'm just a friend of someone who put a lot of time and effort into something creative that would generate some new interest on campus. My college NAME changed after I graduated and there was less crying than all of you have done about this mascot idea. Even if a mascot was created, will it change the memories you created? And how many of you are even active in the day to day life at Ithaca? And some of these comments are really mean and vindictive to that Rob Engelsman kid. It's not like he is the only person who came up with this idea. I think you should all take it down a notch.

Listen Iím not some war mongering right wing nut, but I am a big history buff, last time I checked, bombs and the pilots who flew those bombs to their targets were major factor in winning wars that allowed our freedoms to remain intact, I assume the name was created in the late 40ís (maybe Iím wrong). Sadly most recent wars probably not turning points that would have lost our freedoms had we done nothing but the history is still yet to be written on that so we will see.

Point being here, which Iím sure Iím not the only person who has mentioned this but I didnít see it, is OUR COLLEGE, our place of education is basically saying that the obvious choice for our mascot isnít a symbol we want associated with usÖ..reallyÖ.are you really serious. Itís really pretty disrespectful of those who have fought and died for our freedom, and what is so wrong with representing whatís made us and our country who we are. In the 1940ís WWII the bomber pilot was one of the most gutsy, unforgiving positions you could have in that war, you were a sitting target in the sky but so so necessary to the war effort, thousands of our Jewish friends and alumni might not even be here today without their efforts, or shoot we might even be speaking German or Japanese.

So just remember who you are so passively disrespecting and show some respect and go with the obvious choice a 1940ís bomber pilot with a big old bull horn, his scarf will look great flapping in the wind on south hillís windy days.

Just one thing to add to my previous comment, when you take the mascot in the historical since and know what a 1940's bomber pilot went through and what they represented. Its actually some pretty amazing values. Such as

Unwillingness to quit
Pride
Ability to get the job done
Bravery
Talent
Willingness to give their life for a worthy cause

Its those such bad things to equate with our college????

It is embarrassing that an institution that prides itself on creativity and communications can't come up with a mascot.

Maybe IC should adopt the Batman character "The Joker" ... after this foolishness ... it would be appropriate. I grade this effort D- due to lack of effort, originality and imagination.

I think if IC has to have a mascot it should be a grey wolf.



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