Barry McNamara  |   Published December 18, 2016

’Tis the season

Big Red gift from Monmouth College sent to boy in Indiana

The “spirit of Monmouth College” reached out to help a 5-year-old boy have a merry Christmas.

George, 5, who lives in Lafayette, Ind., loves team mascots, and Monmouth’s Big Red, is near the top of his list. So after hearing about George’s passion in a letter sent by his “good buddy” Kyle Siemers, some College personnel decided to go the extra mile.

The request was for a simple autographed picture, but George also received a stuffed Big Red toy, courtesy of the Monmouth College Bookstore, and a letter from the Monmouth mascot.

“We talked about it the afternoon we received the letter, and (Associate Dean of Students/Director of Campus Events) Karen (Ogorzalek) asked, ‘Can we do anything else with this?’” said Monmouth Assistant Director of Campus Events Jim Fry. “We thought we could include something from the bookstore – something that a 5-year-old would appreciate. It shows the spirit of Monmouth College, and what we’re able to do, even on a small scale like this.”

The Monmouth staff members were especially motivated by George’s love of Big Red.

“Hearing that about Big Red is great,” Fry said. “It says a lot about what mascots do for people.”

Contacted after the gift had been sent, Siemers explained that George is the youngest of three boys who are all “crazy about sports.” Being exposed to so much athletics, he started to notice all the different mascots. 

“While he was still interested in the games going on, he tends to be more interested in where the mascot is and what the mascot is doing,” Siemers said. “This past summer I spent an afternoon with him at an Indianapolis Indians (minor league baseball) game, and he constantly wanted to know where (Indians’ mascot) Rowdie was the entire game. He loves mascots that much.”

Siemers said that part of George’s bedtime routine is to look up three or four mascots before going to sleep. He quickly made his way through all of the professional team mascots and teams that are close to home. As his reach of mascots started to expand, he began to start seeing similar mascots from different schools.

“There are a lot of bulldogs, wildcats, eagles and panthers in mascot world,” Siemers said. “While George still loved them, he was wanting to see something new. George’s Dad is from Illinois, so one day I was with the family I told him we should look up schools from Illinois. That is when we discovered Big Red. George had never seen such a cool mascot. There aren’t a whole lot of kilt-wearing, tartan-clothed, red-headed mascots. Big Red quickly became one of George’s favorites.” 

Siemers reported his little buddy was a big fan of his gift from Monmouth College.

“George was one happy kid!” he said.

Back to News & Events

Did you know?

  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> While we have the Wells Theater on campus, the Theatre department also uses the block-box auditorium Fusion Theatre downtown Monmouth.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/theatre/" target="_blank">Theatre</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College covers the cost for all current students to get a U.S. passport. Unlock access to over 198 different countries! We’ll even help with the paperwork :)</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/study-abroad/" target="_blank">Study Abroad</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We’re no stranger to winning. Last year the Fighting Scots won Midwest Conference championships in Football, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Basketball and Men’s Track and Field. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Fighting Scots</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is proudly test optional. Applicants may choose whether or to submit SAT or ACT scores for admission and scholarship consideration. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/admission/apply/test-optional/" target="_blank">Test Optional</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an educational garden and 6.7 acre farm. Students grow and harvest fruits and vegetables to sell at the local farmer’s market. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Garden & Farm</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 99% of Monmouth students received some type of scholarship or financial assistance.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/offices/student-financial-planning/types-of-aid/scholarships/" target="_blank">Scholarships</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers unique academic minors in Global Public Health and Global Food Security for students who want to use their education to address global challenges. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-public-health/" target="_blank">Global Public Health</a></li><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/global-food-security/" target="_blank">Global Food Security</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College has an active Pipe & Drum Band. Each year on Scholar’s Day in April the bagpipers wake students up at 6:00 a.m. by playing in the residence halls!</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/music/pipe-band/" target="_blank">Pipe Band</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College offers several international trips each year during 2-week Scots Terms in January and May. Recently students have traveled to Botswana, Greece, Scotland, Japan, and more. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_urls"><a href="" target="_blank">Scots Term</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> Monmouth College is the birthplace of the women’s fraternity movement. Kappa Kappa Gamma and Pi Beta Phi, two of the oldest sororities, were founded at Monmouth in the 1860’s. </p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/student-life/sororities-fraternities/" target="_blank">Sororities & Fraternities</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> We offer a certified Peace Corps Preparation program that gives Peace Corps bound graduates a leg up in the application process.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/academics/peace-corps-prep/" target="_blank">Peace Corps Prep</a></li></ul></div></aside>
  • <aside class="factoid-item"><div class="factoid-item-text"><p> 98% of Monmouth graduates were employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.</p></div><div class="factoid-item-links"><ul><li class="lw_related_page"><a href="/wackerle-center/career-services/" target="_blank">Career Services</a></li></ul></div></aside>