Macon State & Middle Georgia Students Choose Mascot | Community Spirit
The students of Macon State and Middle Georgia colleges have chosen the new mascot for Middle Georgia State College.
The winner is … Knights!
More than 830 students at Macon State and more than 250 students at Middle Georgia voted this week from among three choices: Knights, Thrashers and Thunderbirds. Knights was the clear favorite by students at Macon State, and while it was less dominant at Middle Georgia it still gathered the largest percentage of votes cast. The mascot will be used when the two colleges are consolidated. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will consider the consolidation in December; if approved, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia is expected to approve the consolidation in January 2013.
Knights was selected as one of the three finalists in part due to the rationale that was submitted by the people who suggested it. For many it was seen as something of a consolidation of existing mascots at the two colleges. Knights are often depicted as wearing armor while riding horses. Macon State uses a horse as part of its current Blue Storm mascot, and the horse was used in that mascot because it was reminiscent of the college’s original mascot, the Mustang. Middle Georgia College is known as the Warriors, and the rationale suggested that a Knight was in many regards a person who engaged in battle and was, therefore, a warrior.
However, according to Jennifer Brannon, interim vice president for student and public affairs at Middle Georgia College, it didn’t matter what reasons students used to justify their vote, but only that a large number of students took part in the selection process.
“We are very pleased that well over 1,000 students on the five campuses of what will soon be Middle Georgia State College took part in making this decision,” Brannon said. “We knew going into it that with so many suggestions, so many different ideas about what the mascot should be – including those who wanted to keep one of the old mascots – that reaching a consensus would be difficult. But with the broad support that was shown to Knights we believe we’ve got a mascot that in due time will be embraced and widely supported.”
Students on Macon State’s campuses in Macon and Warner Robins, as well as students on Middle Georgia’s campuses in Cochran, Dublin and Eastman, voted online this week through the student information system; both colleges use the same system.
Macon State has about 5,800 students this fall, while Middle Georgia has about 3,100 students. Bill Weaver, director of communications at Macon State, said he monitored the Macon State voting all week and the pattern of support never varied much from what was established during the first few hours of voting.
“The percentages at Macon State remained pretty much the same all week – slightly more than half the votes were going to Knights, while Thrashers and Thunderbirds each split the other half of the vote. There was no big surge of voting to indicate a big push was on for one particular choice. That early voter trend never changed very much.” He said the support for Knights was consistently between 51 and 54 percent on the Macon State campuses. When combined with the voting from Middle Georgia, the final percentage of votes cast for Knights was 50.4 percent.
Students, faculty and staff at both colleges, as well as the general public, had the opportunity in June to suggest mascot names. Originally, more than 300 names were suggested. Administrators culled the list to 101 names, which were then sent to a committee of senior administrators representing both colleges. They voted and produced a list of 10 finalists, which was later reduced to nine, and that list of nine went back out to the students, faculty, staff and the public in an opinion survey. Results from that survey were tabulated and then discussed by a consolidation committee of community citizens, faculty and students from both colleges. That group reviewed the final nine and selected the three finalists which were voted on by students at both colleges.
The next step in the mascot development process will be the selection of new school colors and the design of the mascot figure. Other marks, such as a new institutional logo and seal for the Middle Georgia State College, also will be developed in the months ahead.
Here’s how the mascot voting went this week:
At Macon State:
Knights – 434 votes, or 52 percent
Thunderbirds – 223 votes, or 27 percent
Thrashers – 177 votes, or 21 percent
With about 5,800 students at Macon State this fall, about 14 percent of students chose to vote on the mascot.
At Middle Georgia:
Knights – 116 votes, or 45 percent
Thunderbirds – 78 votes, or 30 percent
Thrashers – 63 votes, or 25 percent
With about 3,100 students at Middle Georgia this fall, about 8 percent of those students voted.
Knights – 550 votes, or 50.4 percent
Thunderbirds – 301 votes, or 27.6 percent
Thrashers – 240 votes, or 21.9 percent