Big Red (left) presents the Class of 2010 gift check with John Kaiser ’10 and DeMarkco Butler ’10 (left to right) to President Ditzler at the President's Senior Gala
In addition to hundreds of new students this fall, there will be another new face on the Monmouth College campus, thanks to both a visionary student and the graduating class of 2010.
In fact, a sneak peak has already occurred, as Big Red, the new Monmouth College mascot, was introduced at the President’s Senior Gala during commencement weekend. The venue was appropriate, as making the mascot a reality was the Class of 2010’s project. The seniors, along with parents and other supporters, raised more than $16,000 to help cover the cost of creating Big Red.
“The 2010 senior class gift committee, led by class president DeMarkco Butler, worked to raise the largest senior class gift on record with more than 50 percent class participation,” explained Susan Savage, MC’s director of annual giving.
The mascot project did not originate with a senior, however. It started with Kevin Ross of Homer Glen, who will enter his junior year this fall. During his freshman year in 2008, Ross met with President Mauri Ditzler and suggested that Monmouth should create a mascot in order to raise spirit and morale at athletic events, as well as other special events on campus.
“I was the mascot at my high school (Providence Catholic),” Ross explained, “and I thought that Monmouth had successful athletics and needed a mascot.”
The project soon gained momentum, and the entire student body ultimately became involved, voting on the mascot’s name and design.
“The committee and I felt as if the entire student body should choose the name of the mascot,” said director of alumni programs Lucy Thompson. “Their voice was heard and, by overwhelming demand, the name ‘Big Red’ was chosen.”
Big Red is a “Fighting Scot,” with the traditional Monmouth tartan kilt, cape and sash, sporran and Balmoral cap. He will be making appearances around campus starting this fall.
Although previous mascots existed – the best-known of which was an illustration by the late local artist Royal Youngblood – this is the first time Monmouth will have a “living” mascot character.
Monmouth’s “Fighting Scots” nickname dates to 1927 when alumni secretary Harold Hermann initiated a campaign to honor and promote the college’s Scotch-Irish heritage.
More information about Big Red is available at his Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/mcBigRed.