FOREST CITY – Waldorf College unveiled a new mascot during their Homecoming celebration in the fall of 2013, but he remained nameless for several months until a campus-wide vote determined he would be called “Warrick.”
The Waldorf College Student Senate has been talking about replacing the old mascot, Wally, for several years. The students wanted something that looked a little more like a warrior and less like a “friendly grandpa.”
Wally was developed in the 1980s and was starting to look a bit dated. “He served his time well and was certainly a loveable character that Waldorf responded to,” Jason Ramaker, Dean of Students, said. Many pieces of the mascot have been lost, including Wally’s original gloves and boots.
The Student Senate does a campus improvement project every year. They saved money for several years to contribute to a new mascot as their campus improvement project in 2013. Due to the high expense of a custom designed high quality mascot, the Student Senate teamed up with the Waldorf College Student Life and Intramural departments to make the project possible.
The Student Senate then reached out to Waldorf students and faculty for name suggestions. Of the over 200 submissions, four names were chosen as top contenders: Frodlaw (Waldorf backwards), Walcules, Walson, and Warrick. In an online poll that finished February 21, Warrick prevailed. The name Warrick, which means “protecting ruler and strong leader,” rolls off the tongue smoothly and reflects the image of the new mascot.
Ramaker was astonished at the amount of detail that goes into designing and creating a mascot. “Color, fabric, laces, headwear, facial hair, chest size – it’s all discussed until there is a final image proof. It’s probably something you only do a handful of times a century,” he said.
Students love performing as the mascot, because it requires a lot of acting, precise and creative movements to be really effective. Acting as the mascot is also more difficult than one would expect. It’s hot, vision is limited and it can be hard to move. Warrick features state-of-the-art technology to keep performers cool and comfortable, including a cooling pad in his chest and a fan in the head.
“Everybody loves a mascot. They represent your school, school colors and give unique identity to the college that students, employees and guests can enjoy,” Ramaker said. In the future, he hopes to find a place on campus to showcase Wally as a beloved historical symbol.