OCTOBER 19, 2006

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NSU announces mascot finalists


NSU students Dru Dear and Kevin Christian unveil the finalists for the new Northeastern mascot.

Northeastern State University announced six finalists for consideration as the institution’s new mascot at a press conference held recently in the Branscum Alumni Center.

The finalists include Thunderhawks, Thunderbirds, Riverhawks, Riverwolves, War Eagles, and Wolves.

“Each of the mascots we have put forth for consideration would represent Northeastern equally well,” said NSU President Dr. Larry Williams. “Our next step is to solicit input from our patrons on which potential mascot they want to rally around.”

NSU accepted suggestions for potential mascots from Aug. 15 through Sept. 30. More than 450 mascots proposals were made, with the Mascot Selection Task Force narrowing down the selection to the final six.

Students, alumni, faculty, staff and members of the community will have the opportunity to select their favorite finalist starting today by going online at www.nsuok.edu/mascot. The selection process will continue through Oct. 30.

Once a decision is made, NSU will initiate the process of developing a brand identity for the new nickname to be unveiled before the start of classes in Fall 2007.

NSU President Dr. Larry Williams announced plans in May to change the Redmen nickname to one that does not reference Native American culture. The 40-member Mascot Selection Task Force, composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni, was assembled to map out a process for finding a new mascot.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association notified the University on Sept. 20 that the Redmen nickname has “previously been determined to be hostile or abusive” and NSU needed to report on plans for change.

Failure to change the Redmen nickname would result in the NCAA applying the Executive Committee policy governing the use of Native American nicknames, mascots and imagery, preventing Northeastern from hosting NCAA championship events.

University records indicate the Redmen mascot was officially adopted in October 1924, chosen by a vote of the faculty to replace the name ‘Warriors.’ Several characters have been introduced through the years to depict the Redmen mascot, but now are part of NSU history and lore, found only in yearbooks or in the university’s archives.

Oklahoma’s premier regional university, NSU offers nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, along with the doctorate of Optometry, on three campuses in Tahlequah, Muskogee, and Broken Arrow. For information, visit www.nsuok.edu.