Oakton adopts owl mascot

Robin Sluzas, Reporter, Production Manager

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According to the Merriam Webster dictionary the term “mascot” is defined as “a person, animal or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck”.

The idea of the mascot began via a French opera called La Mascotte in the 1880’s. The opera is about a farmer contending with a particularly nasty crop that, lo and behold, begins producing beautifully with the appearance of a girl named Bettina. The word mascot was derived from the word “Mascotte”.

Throughout history mascots have been both human beings and animals, live or otherwise. Beginning in 1910, the Chicago Cubs used a parade of live bears that were ultimately discarded due to unruly behavior.  One Cub cub in particular “. . . was evidently so loathed by the team, they left it in the New York Giants’ clubhouse for it has been biting the regular Cubs on the ankle and we have enough cripples on the team.”

ENTER OUR OAKTON OWL! On August 12 the Oakton Owl mascot was hatched at the annual faculty/staff Breakfast before school began. The newborn Oakton Owl “flew” into the TenHoeve Center and was greeted by photographers and high-fiving audience members. The Owl went on to assist President Smith in presenting various awards.

Oakton’s mascot’s history began three years ago when students in the Sports Marketing 150 classes utilized various analyses (SWOT for those versed in marketing strategies) of the Oakton athletic program. After running various focus groups that included coaches, faculty, student government members and administrators, a mythological story that resulted in a 2 minute video was conceived by one particular class and the idea of an Oakton mascot emerged.

Not long after, faculty member Randy Felsenthal (Marketing/Sports Marketing lecturer) and Rick Daniels (Director of Student Life and Campus Inclusion) submitted a grant request and the funds for our Oakton Owl mascot were given. It is believed that the mythological story’s video created by sports marketing students helped to initiate the Owl’s conception in the minds of the fund holders! To view the video go to: https://youtu.be/SmY6-Cn3uK8

The Oakton Owl’s name and the occupant(s) of the 5’10” Owl suit have yet to be determined. Keep checking this story for updates about naming our Owl and mascot suit auditions!