ILLUSTRATION: JEFF KOTERBA
Q: We're revealing our new school mascot on the first day of school. Logistically, this is a challenge since we have two campuses. We'll have flags, painted sidewalks, and T-shirts, and we plan to discuss the mascot during opening chapel services. But the chaplains feel the announcement needs a ceremonial flourish. Any advice or creative suggestions?
A: In 2008, the University of South Carolina Beaufort unveiled its first mascot. At an initial ceremony on our smaller historic campus, the athletic director and the chancellor uncovered a dramatic image of the mascot—a sand shark—that had been painted on the wall of the student lounge. This ceremony was relatively quiet (no media) but demonstrated genuine respect for the historic campus.
At the main campus unveiling an hour later, the chancellor spoke about the importance of the new identity, the president of the logo design firm described the research process, and a faculty expert explained the sand shark's ecological importance. The chancellor and athletic director then unfurled a huge sand shark banner that fell from the top of the main administration building. The senior class announced its sponsorship of a shark at the South Carolina Aquarium. Student government leaders and athletes slipped the first sand shark logo T-shirts over their heads to culminate the act of mascot adoption.
The party after the unveiling included T-shirts for the first 500 students, sand shark cookies, a shark bouncy slide, and shark-themed games. The mascot celebration continued as the theme of the spring semester welcome back week on both campuses.
Lynn McGee, vice chancellor for advancement, University of South Carolina Beaufort
Ice scrapers and tartan shawls."
Tracy Salmon, director, alumni programs, University of Alberta, Canada
Tina Filbert, assistant director of donor relations, Valparaiso University, Indiana
"Embroidered texting gloves and matching knit hats and scarves."
Allison Mosier, assistant director, alumni services, Gannon University, Pennsylvania (in Erie, which is infamous for its high annual snowfall count)
"To combat the darkness of a London winter, we gave away keychain torches in conjunction with the opening of our new theatre. Alumni could sponsor lights in the theatre, so the torches fit right in."
Kurstin Finch Gnehm, head of individual giving and patrons programmes, Royal Academy of Music, U.K.
"We love alumni volunteers! A warm hug delivered in a box from Glasgow: a cup of tea and Scottish treats."
Sarah Armour, alumni volunteers manager,
University of Glasgow