From the Nominator
"The history of the Pomona College mascot Cecil Sagehen dates to the early 1900s. Although he is beloved by many alumni, his origin and story are often unfamiliar.
In our spring issue, Pomona College Magazine: Origins, we wanted to shed light on Cecil's history. Instead of the usual photo collage, we decided to create a unique comic strip that informs readers not only about what a sagehen (or sage grouse) is, but also how the nickname evolved.
Written by Robyn Norwood, the magazine's editor, the text uses various members of the college staff and faculty to explain the mascot's origins. Initially frustrated by the task of writing a comic, Robyn had the inspiration of Cecil searching for his ancestry as a storytelling device. By incorporating familiar campus figures—some high-profile and some the sort of quiet people who keep the college running smoothly—we added an element of fun and community. With their permission, we used them to tell the true history in a fictionalized style. The communications staff jumped in with clever lines, including a Lizzo allusion and the memorable "23 and Poultry." Eric's devotion to illustrating the comic brought it to life."
From the Judges
This nomination impressed the judge pool with its creativity and ingenuity. The use of clever wordplay and engaging writing made a potentially dull topic fun and entertaining. The fact that it was entirely created in-house added to the impressiveness of the piece. The layout and storyline were both creative and effective in highlighting the unsung heroes on college campuses, such as campus archivists.