Western Unveils New Mountaineer
By Greg Smith - GUNNISON, Colo., August 30, 2013 — With campus radio KWSB broadcasting live, free ice cream, free T-shirts, an enthusiastic crowd and an inflatable Mad Jack mountaineer towering in front of the University Center, Western State Colorado University today introduced a new Mad Jack logo.
Brittany Hogan, a May 2013 graduate in Psychology, had a chance to see the new logo in advance, but she showed up to cheer for the new look. “I love it,” she said. “It’s fast!”
Gary Pierson, vice president for student affairs, dressed in the Mad Jack costume, kicked off the event, noting the history of Western’s Mountaineer mascot. “Our new ‘W’ logo is the visual mark that defines Western. But the Mountaineer embodies our Spirit. From our outstanding academics, to our NCAA athletes, to our Mountain Sports, the Mountaineer captures the character that makes Western so unique.”
Katie Roos, student government vice president, followed, exhorting the crowd to declare themselves all Mountaineers. “We’re all members of a team!” she shouted.
Interim University President Brad Baca endorsed Roos’ enthusiasm, saying, “That’s the spirit we all need!”He noted Western’s official change to university status in August 2012, followed by a new logo, which was itself replaced with the current W, embossed with a mountain range. He explained university leaders realized the first shot at a WSCU logo was “not hitting the mark” and responded with careful market research that resulted in both the W and a new Mad Jack.
“This new look will take us in a bold new direction that embodies athletics and academics,” he said, before signing a proclamation declaring every Friday a time to display Mountaineer spirit on campus. All campus community members are encouraged to wear crimson and share their enthusiasm for all that is Western.
Baca then joined Pierson and Roos to roll out a huge banner bearing the new, profiled Mountaineer logo to a response of enthusiastic cheers and a tossing of T-shirts to the crowd, which was already charging toward the campus bookstore, where 1,000 shirts were offered up free, first come, first served. As students and other members of the campus community emerged with their new shirts, a team of administrators shared free ice cream for all.
Juniors Mark Jones and Justin Baker, T-shirts in hand, were all smiles.
“The new Mountaineer will look
pretty cool on our silver helmets,” said Jones, a cornerback on
Western’s football team.
Baker, a sprinter for the track team, agreed: “I like it. I hope it’s on our jerseys next spring.”
Kyle Wiren, a senior who served on the committee that considered the new logo, was one of the first to snag a T-shirt. He acknowledged that change is hard for all and admitted that at first he had some reservations, “but now I like the way it’s moving.”
Brett Nielson, a sophomore already dressed in his new shirt, was more sanguine, saying, “I like it a lot. I like how it’s different from any other logo I’ve seen at schools in this region.”