(Sept. 25, 2012) – Students in the soon-to-be University of North Georgia will decide the university’s new mascot from three finalists: Golden Eagles, Nighthawks and Warriors. The finalists were determined through a process that began in August to select a new mascot and generated more than 750 different suggestions from students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members.
“The goal of selecting the new mascot is to further unify our institutions and to positively and distinctively represent the new institution, the competitiveness of its athletic program, and student spirit,” said Bonita C. Jacobs, president ofNorth Georgia College & State University.
The consolidation of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University is scheduled to be implemented in January 2013, and the two institutions will become the University of North Georgia.
Gainesville State College’s current mascot, the Fighting Geese, is used in a variety of ways to promote school spirit and build community. Its previous intercollegiate athletics competed as the Lakers. North Georgia’s student body adopted the Saint Bernard, more commonly referred to as the Saints, as the mascot in 1972.
A mascot work group, comprising students, alumni, andfaculty and staff membersfrom each school, narrowed the list by considering suggestions that could represent distinctive aspects about the university and the region it will cover, as well as accounting for mascots already used by other area schools, Peach Belt Conference competitors, and NCAA Division II institutions. The work group submitted a short list of suggestions to the Consolidation Implementation Committee, a group of school and community representatives designated to help determine such issues related to consolidation.
While the schools’ current mascots of the Saint Bernards and Fighting Geese were not considered in the initial phase of the process, the Consolidation Implementation Committee acknowledged some constituent support for retaining them but, after discussion, determined that selecting a new mascot was in the best interest of uniting the two institutions. The group selected the three finalists, which will now be presented to current students via an online survey.
“We have three wonderful options for students to choose from and any of these would represent our new institution well. The new mascot will serve as a rallying point for the new University of North Georgia,” Jacobs said.
The voting for students will be limited to one per person based on email address and will be open Wednesday, Sept.26, through Friday, Oct. 5. Once the results have been tallied, an announcement will be made. The visual identity surrounding the new mascot will be unveiled in January 2013.
The university plans to use the color scheme of blue, white and gold – which combines North Georgia’s current colors and Gainesville’s previous colors – to represent the institution and its athletic program. Additionally, the university will continue using the athletic spirit mark of the interlocking NG. These measures allow for developing a new mascot for the university while minimizing the costs associated with the change.
Based on action by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and pending approval by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University will consolidate in January 2013 to become the University of North Georgia. For details and updates, please visit www.gscngcsu.org.