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Connecticut College athletes welcome new camel mascot

Connecticut College´s new camel mascot was unveiled during a Founders Day Celebration of Athletics.
Connecticut College´s new camel mascot was unveiled during a Founders Day Celebration of Athletics.

Connecticut College´s new camel mascot made its debut today in front of a cheering crowd of students, faculty and staff at the college´s student center.

The new camel design was unveiled during a celebration of Connecticut College athletics, part of the college´s Centennial Founders Day festivities. Founders Day commemorates the anniversary of the day the College was officially chartered in 1911. Watch as the new camel mascot is revealed.

"This is a proud new symbol of Connecticut College athletics that was created with the input of the entire community," Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenk Christoffers ´45 Director of Athletics, said. Designer Eric Rickabaugh, of Ohio-based Rickabaugh Graphics, designed the new mascot based on the results from an online survey sent to students, alumni and others in the college community. "The terms our students, alumni and community members most commonly associated with the camel were ´proud,´ ´strong´ and ´dignified,´" Vice President for College Relations Patricia Carey, who oversaw the camel redesign project, said. "The new design really captures the spirit of those descriptors."

The 1,445 survey respondents also agreed the style of the design should be "collegiate," "classic" and "traditional." In addition to the survey, a number of students and alumni participated in focus groups to refine the design. The new design strengthens the camel´s image - important, many student athletes said, in competition.

"As a student athlete, I am beyond thrilled with the unveiling of the new Camel on the college´s 99th birthday," Devon Butler ´10, a member of the women´s track and field team and master of ceremonies at the Celebration of Athletics, said. "This new athletic identity comes at a perfect time, coinciding with all of our recent successes." Connecticut College adopted the camel as a mascot in 1969, when the college went co-ed.

The "retro" camel, introduced in 1999, will be retained for club sports and other non-varsity-athletics purposes. As a member of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, Connecticut College competes in a league that has a long tradition of quirky mascots, including an elephant, a mule, a polar bear and a bantam. The college is one of only two schools in the country with a camel mascot.

April 5, 2010