Home Court Advantage: Channeling School Spirit With a Memorable Mascot
This post is in partnership with Pepsi Refresh Project
A school’s mascot can hold a mirror to its heart, historical roots, or just its playful side. To wit, here’s a roundup of some of the most unique and memorable mascots in the country that offer a lesson in channeling—and inspiring—school spirit.
Ben & John, Franklin & Marshall College
Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and former Chief Justice of the United States John Marshall inspired the Diplomats, the athletes of Franklin & Marshall College located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. According to the athletic department website, the Franklin & Marshall football team was penalized during a 1935 match against Fordham University for spending too much time in the clubhouse during halftime, indulging their “penchant for oratory” and going on at length about their game plan. When a New York sports columnist dubbed them the Diplomats, the name stuck. Ben and John were introduced in late 2007, and the historical faces have been formidable—and also perhaps very polite and fair—cheerleaders at their athletic games since.
Image via F&M College magazine
Gladys the Fighting Squirrel, Mary Baldwin College
Tough as nails? Or cute as a button? These traits are not mutually exclusive, as exhibited by the squirrel that 1) fights, and 2) whose name, of all things, is Gladys. The image of a squirrel, which had been on the family coat of arms of Mary Baldwin, the founder of the college, and incorporated into the official college seal in 1929 and later adopted by the college’s sports teams, wasn’t really threatening. However, its uniqueness was clinched when the director of the Annual Giving chose the name from submissions during a college staff team-building exercise in 1985 or 1986. It was chosen purely for its randomness.
Image via Mary Baldwin College Facebook page
Ephs the Purple Cow, Williams College