In January the Board of Trustees announced that the College would no longer use Lord Jeff in any official capacity. They also raised the possibility that the College could adopt an official mascot for the first time. Since then, a Mascot Committee composed primarily of students and alumni (from classes ranging from 1958 to 2013), along with members of the faculty, staff and administration, has met regularly to formulate a plan.
“The aim will be to generate as much engagement as possible, and to find something—something organically associated with Amherst, reflecting our collective history—that we can all rally around,” wrote Board of Trustees Chair Cullen Murphy ’74 in the January statement. “That is what mascots are supposed to provide.” The committee decided that the new mascot needs to unify the campus and larger community, represent positive qualities or ideals, be broadly relevant across generations, represent the Amherst experience or history, work equally well for women’s and men’s sports teams, and have the potential to translate well visually.
Now Seeking Submissions
An open submission process began Oct. 24 and will conclude Nov. 30. All Amherst alumni, students, faculty and staff may submit mascot suggestions at amherst.edu/go/mascot or direct them to Mascot Process, P.O. Box 5000, Amherst, MA 01002.
Winnowing the List
In early December the Mascot Committee will create a list of all suggestions that meet the basic criteria and will make that list public. Next it will use the same criteria to winnow the list to fewer than 30, and alumni will have the opportunity to provide feedback. In January and February, the committee will share that feedback with a broadly representative delegate group of students and alumni, and, soliciting input from those delegates, will further winnow the list to five.
All alumni, students, faculty and staff of the College will be able to vote in March on the five finalist mascot selections.
The Mascot’s Debut
The College will announce the new mascot in the spring. This mascot will officially debut next fall.