MCLA Seeks New Mascot
NORTH ADAMS, MA - Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is seeking input and ideas from everyone in the College community - students, alumni, faculty, staff and fans throughout the Berkshires and beyond - as it looks for a mascot to represent the Trailblazers.
The new mascot will join the existing Trailblazer name and logo to represent MCLA, especially its athletics programs. The community is invited to submit their suggestions for who the Trailblazer mascot should be and what it should look like, until the end of the month.
According to Scott Nichols, MCLA's director of athletics, "We have been talking about having a mascot that would complement the nickname 'Trailblazers' ever since we changed the nickname. The idea is to have something we can have some fun with at games and other events like the fall foliage parade and camps and clinics. Hopefully, we can get a mascot that we can dress up and create some excitement with."
MCLA adopted the "Trailblazer" name in 2002, in reference to connections to the historic and recreational trails in the North Adams area, such as the African-American Heritage Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, Mohawk Trail, Molly Stark Trail, Taconic Trail and the Mount Greylock trail system.
"To have an actual 'face' represent this College is pretty exciting," said Jackie Nash '12, one of six students on the committee heading up the search for the mascot. Also a member of the women's soccer team and a student leader on campus, she said a lot of students have been talking about who the new mascot should be.
"There have been a couple of different ideas thrown around, and people are getting pretty creative," Nash said.
One of the earliest mascots was "Stacey," a doll that represented the College in 1940. Later in the '40s, the College used the name of "Gremlins." The College used the nickname the "Professors" from the 1950s to 1963.
In 1963, North Adams State College adopted the name "Mohawks," which remained in place until 2002, when it was determined to cease the use of the Mohawk name to bring MCLA in line with the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) emerging policy to limit the use of Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery.
The mascot committee will meet in April to go over the suggestions before the ideas are passed along to the President's Athletic Advisory Council (PAAC), which will make the final decision. Fans will meet MCLA's new mascot in October, at Midnight Madness, the traditional start of the College's basketball season.