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UW-Eau Claire Holds Contest to Select a Mascot

RELEASED: April 7, 2009

mascot contest imageEAU CLAIRE — A contest to select an official mascot for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire may finally answer the often-asked question, "What is a Blugold?"

The Blugold Mascot Design Contest, sponsored by the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association, will start April 15 and run through June 15, with the winner announced by July 15. The winning entry will receive $500.

The contest was created after a 2008 survey of the university community showed strong support for a mascot. Nearly 7,000 people responded to the survey, with 69 percent of the respondents indicating that they favored having a mascot. The survey was initiated by a committee of students, faculty, staff and community members charged by Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich to research the mascot issue.

"The results of the survey make it clear that a lot of people want a mascot," said John Bachmeier, alumni relations director and chair of the committee examining the mascot issue. "The contest seemed like a good way to generate creative ideas."

The contest is open to students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends of the university. The mascot entry must relate to UW-Eau Claire's current nickname, "Blugolds," must incorporate the school colors of blue and gold, and must represent the positive attributes of Blugold students and alumni.

Contestants must submit a narrative of 250 words or less, including a statement that describes the link between the proposed mascot and UW-Eau Claire's nickname, and an illustration of the mascot no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Artwork can be submitted electronically as a JPG image no larger than 1 MB.

Submissions can be e-mailed to alumnimascot@uwec.edu or mailed to Blugold Mascot Contest, UW-Eau Claire Alumni Office, P.O. Box 4004, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004. To review the complete contest rules, go to the Alumni Association's Web site.

Entries will be judged on creativity, originality, linkage to the UW-Eau Claire nickname Blugolds, functionality and versatility. All entries will become property of UW-Eau Claire and will not be returned.

The winner will be selected by a panel of judges that include students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members. The judging panel reserves the right to combine more than one idea for the winning mascot. In such a case, the prize will be divided among the winners. The decision of the judges will be final.

The issue of having a mascot has surfaced off and on throughout UW-Eau Claire's history. In 1956, the Art Club sponsored a mascot contest. Students were to vote on a mascot, which alumni were to approve. Almost a third of the students voted, with Buster Bulldog winning first place, but no record has been found authorizing such a mascot.

In 1965 a mascot contest resulted in 25 entries, but the University Senate rejected the results "due to the fact that students were not given the choice of a 'no' vote," according to university records.

The mascot issue resurfaced again in 2006 when senior Aaron Olson, then president of the Student Senate, authored a resolution to recommend that the chancellor form a committee to review the need for redefining a Blugold. In 2007, the university administration was petitioned for the creation of an official mascot.

"This contest is part of the process of considering the establishment of a UW-Eau Claire mascot," Bachmeier said. "The committee is looking forward to seeing the entries and perhaps resolving the issue of what is a Blugold."

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KH/JB

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