Carnegie Mellon's nickname, The Tartans, may bring to mind kilts, bagpipes and an assortment of Scottish Terriers, but one thing that's missing is an official mascot. With the formation of a cross-campus task force working to develop an official university mascot, that's about to change.
"Our campus community is going to be a vital part of identifying and confirming the official Carnegie Mellon mascot," said Dean of Student Affairs Jennifer Church. "Over the next several months, we'll be surveying our students and alumni, holding a town hall meeting and gathering feedback from a wide range of campus leaders. We're looking to involve everybody in this process."
Church co-chairs a mascot task force with Athletics Director Susan Bassett, bringing together students, faculty, staff and alumni on this issue. "The Tartans" nickname will continue, especially in association with athletics, but the task force will be finding a powerful image to go along with the nickname.
"With all-star athletes, Nobel Prize winners, Broadway stars and pioneers in technology all calling Carnegie Mellon home, our university has a powerful reputation that we're hoping to capture symbolically," said Bassett. "We hope to instill pride and spirit, while having fun with the various opportunities a mascot will create."
"Carnegie Mellon's visual identity is frequently associated with the school's tartan or the wordmark," added Jay Marano of the Trademark Licensing Office. Marano is also a driving force behind the effort and has researched the various uses of unofficial mascots on campus.
"When I first arrived at Carnegie Mellon I recognized that, unlike so many other universities, we lacked that one central icon to rally around," said Marano. "Creating an official mascot will not only energize school spirit, but it will also help promote the university off-campus through numerous outlets."
While various feedback sessions will be held across campus, those interested in contributing ideas can get involved today. E-mail the task force to share your thoughts. A community town hall meeting will also be held Jan. 29 to discuss mascot ideas, from 5-7:30 p.m. in McConomy.