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Nov. 12: Carnegie Mellon Presents Mascot's Official Graphic Identity At Nov. 10 Football Game


Abby Houck                     

Carnegie Mellon Presents Mascot's Official
Graphic Identity At Nov. 10 Football Game

PITTSBURGH — Carnegie Mellon University unleashed the graphic image of its first official mascot, the Scottish terrier, at its Nov. 10 football game vs. Washington and Lee University.

graphicThe graphic features a profile of a distinguished, bold Scottish terrier sporting a plaid scarf. The dog is contained in a shield, representing Carnegie Mellon's Scottish heritage. Andrew Carnegie, founder of the university, owned a Scottish terrier.

Carnegie Mellon formed a Mascot Identity Task Force in November 2006, which consisted of students, faculty, staff and alumni. The Task Force was co-chaired by Director of Athletics Susan Bassett and Dean of Student Affairs Jennifer Church.

"The Task Force was interested in creating a mascot which would communicate strength, pride, dignity and elements of Carnegie Mellon's Scottish heritage," Bassett said.

Carnegie Mellon was represented by numerous images in prior years, including a bagpiper and a Scottish terrier wearing tartan plaid. Sophie Nassif, director of brand initiatives, said an official mascot will enhance the student experience and create a greater sense of community throughout the university. "The Tartans" nickname will continue, particularly in reference to athletics.

The mascot selection process included a series of surveys and a university town hall meeting. Nearly 78 percent of 2,370 students surveyed in February 2007 voted for the Scottish terrier, and approximately 25 percent of 400 alumni surveyed thought the Scottish terrier already was the mascot.

In the spring, the Task Force partnered with SME Branding, a firm with more than 17 years of experience creating mascots for professional sports teams and universities. Its client list includes the Detroit Pistons, the NBA, the NHL, the NCAA, MIT, Stanford University, Georgetown University, University of Florida and University of Pennsylvania. During October, students and alumni reviewed potential mascot images in focus groups.

"The focus groups clarified the direction and detail for the design of our Scottish terrier," Bassett said. "The committee and the designers from SME developed some concepts, but the focus groups effectively created a consensus that we hoped to achieve."

The Nov. 10 launch of the primary mascot design was the first step in introducing a palette of the mascot's graphic identity. Additional graphics, including secondary and youth marks, are forthcoming.

Carnegie Mellon's University Store is selling official Scottish terrier t-shirts and sweatshirts and will expand its selection of merchandise in time for the holidays.

Nassif said more activities are being planned to promote the mascot and the university's new graphic identity. Once a Scottish terrier costume is complete, the mascot will greet fans and community members at university events. Interactive Web and video elements also will be available on Carnegie Mellon's Web site.