Monmouth, IL – The students have spoken... and Monmouth College now has a physical mascot for the first time ever. A real, live person will dress up and attend campus and athletic events.
"Big Red" will make his official debut at athletic events this fall. The costume reflects the school's nickname, the Fighting Scots. Big Red is a gentleman whose eyebrows are pointed down, as if he's angry. But he also sports a big smile. He wears a Scottish kilt, sash and cape.
The costume was already chosen, but students overwhelmingly chose the name. The other choices were Scottie or Wally.
Monmouth College spokesperson Mike Diamond says much of the campus helped choose the name, and also helped fund the costume purchase.
"It was a dollar a vote," says Diamond. "They were able to vote for both the name and the look, but mainly the name."
Diamond says the new mascot was a gift from the class of 2010, which raised more than $16,000 to fund the costume purchase and also create a small cushion for any future repairs that might be needed. The students pitched in, as did alumni.
Diamond says MC's athletic programs have been improving over the past few years, and school spirit has improved along with them. He says a real, live mascot helps reflect the changing attitude.
"We felt like a mascot would really embrace not only the success of our athletic teams, but also embrace the Scottish tradition that's been with the college ever since it was founded," Diamond says.
The name "Fighting Scots" was developed in 1927. The current costume was designed using the original conceptual drawing of a Fighting Scot, which was developed in the 1970's.