A local brand agency is to design the mascot.
By Sergio Medina
After 61 years of the Ranger as its official mascot, this college announced in a May 13 email its new mascot is the armadillo.
“This is it. This is it! We have our mascot,” Christina Horton, chair of the mascot committee, said May 19.
Since February, the mascot committee has surveyed students and employees, and researched mascot candidates before the 2-foot long, armored mammal made the cut.
In the final survey closed May 10, 1,309 students participated to select between three finalists: armadillos, scorpions and stars.
The armadillo garnered 55% of the vote, or about 720 students’ nods.
The scorpions collected 31%, or about 406 students.
The stars’ share was only 14%, or about 183 students.
The first survey, conducted in February, was open to the public to allow college alumni to participate. The committee received 370 submissions for mascot ideas, which were then reduced to 160 by the committee.
Based on guidelines that favored historically inoffensive representations, the committee further narrowed the list to 10 mascot candidates, which became the selections for the second survey.
This April survey received 1,407 votes and was open to students, faculty and alumni.
Accompanying Horton in the interview, Ken Slavin, director of marketing and strategic communications, said the college is working with the local brand agency Parallel to design the graphic renderings and mascot costume, which will be a summer-long endeavor.
Slavin said the cost of the agency’s services is still being worked on.
Until now, the graphic design shown in surveys and social media posts are preliminary renderings, he said.
Slavin said the college plans to reveal the design of the armadillo in the fall, though there is no set date for the unveiling.
“We’re not going to rush into something this important, that’s going to be representing us for many years.
“We feel the beginning of the new academic year is the perfect time to share this and celebrate it because it’s really going to be a big deal for San Antonio College,” Slavin said.
Slavin said the adoption of a new mascot means an image overhaul that includes updating school merchandise and mascot imagery on the gym floors and walls of the Candler Physical Education Center, which previously depicted the Ranger.
The mascot will be included in athletic events, pep rallies, special events on and off campus and recruiting days at local high schools, Slavin said.
As for the mascot committee, Horton said the mission of the committee is now complete, having held its final meeting in early May.
“The committee is aware that, if need be, if it is requested that we get back together because we’re given a new goal, then we can certainly do that,” she said.
Designated by administration, the 18-member committee was formed to research new mascots after the Ranger mascot was removed in July.
“I would like to thank people, on behalf of the committee, for participating, whether it was directly voting, or whether that was supporting students by allowing them time or information about how to get to their link. That was all very important,” Horton said.