In 2007, Hendrix revealed their new mascot, which depicted a barbaric version of a warrior. This new mascot was created after concerns were raised about Hendrix’s former mascot. The former mascot used Native American imagery, and was moved to be eliminated back in 2001, some years before the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) placed a ban on the use of such imagery in 2006. The new mascot was created out of the desire to “respect the beliefs and traditions of Native Americans and other ethnic groups.”
Although Hendrix initially felt proud of the newly revealed mascot in 2007, many people have since pointed out the fact that the barbaric warrior, called Ivan, is not the best representation of Hendrix’s athletic teams. In response, a new mascot was revealed yet again last Monday, on January 28, 2019, in the WAC gymnasium.
The new mascot was in the works for approximately a year. The committee who created the new mascot met this time last year to begin tossing around ideas. Input was received from current student athletes, former student athletes, alumni, constituents of the current campus, staff members and faculty members as well. People such as Thad McCracken, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Amy Forbus, the Communications Director, Rob O’Conner, Vice President for Marketing Communications, and Summer Green, the Graphic Designer, worked behind the scenes to help guide the direction of the mascot’s conception.
“I am proud that the result that we are going to share is something that our coaches are excited about, and I sure hope all of our students will be excited about the result as well. It is not an easy task to change a symbol like this and come up with something new, not in the day and age in which we live today,” said President Tsutsui at the reveal Monday night.
President Tsutsui went on to express his envy of schools that have colors as mascots, such as Harvard Crimson, and schools that have concepts or animals as mascots. He even went on to joke about his long-held desire to turn Hendrix’s mascot into a monarch butterfly, as a way of preserving the school’s orange and black colors.
“But alas, we are warriors and we’re going to stay warriors. However, Ivan the warrior just isn’t the most inclusive embodiment of intercollegiate athletics at Hendrix today” said President Tsutsui. “Thanks to you, our student athletes, who represent Hendrix so well. You are the real symbols of warrior athletes. But since there are so many of you, it is impossible to pick just one face to put on a uniform, hoodie or sportswear.”
The new mascot is a warrior’s helmet, which is half orange and half black. It stands as a neutral representation of Hendrix’s athletics as a whole. Students at the reveal responded warmly to the new mascot symbol, offering applause of approval.
“The mission that was given to the mascot committee was to find something that was inclusive of all of our students, and we didn’t currently have that with the previous mascot. The task was to come up with something that symbolized a warrior, symbolized what Hendrix stands for, and was inclusive of all of our students, which is important to the college,” McCracken said.