FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kate Maine, APR
Director of University Relations
North Georgia College & State University
706-864-1950, office | 706-429-4093, mobile
Director of Public Relations
Gainesville State College
Students select mascot for the University of North Georgia
(Oct. 15, 2012) – With a strong majority, students at North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College have selected Nighthawks as the mascot for the new university to be formed through the consolidation of the two institutions.
In January 2012, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents voted to consolidate eight of its member institutions into four schools. The consolidation of Gainesville State College and North Georgia College & State University is scheduled to be implemented in January 2013, and the two institutions will become the University of North Georgia.
“The focus of our consolidation continues to be about bringing two strong institutions together as one university that will serve our students across four campuses and a large geographic area that covers the fastest-growing region of the state,” Jacobs said. “By selecting a new mascot to promote athletics and school spirit, we are taking an important step to building community as the University of North Georgia.”
The current mascots for the schools are the Saints and the Fighting Geese. Students were asked to choose one of three options for the future mascot of the University of North Georgia: Golden Eagles, Nighthawks or Warriors. The finalists were determined through a process that began in August and generated more than 750 different suggestions from students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members.
Information about each of the options was provided in the survey and on the consolidation website. More than 6,300 students, approximately 42 percent of the combined student body, participated in the survey. With 51 percent of the responses, Nighthawks was the clear selection by the students. The responses to the two other choices were split nearly evenly, with Golden Eagles receiving 26 percent of the vote and Warriors receiving 23 percent.
“I am very pleased that such a large number of students from each institution participated in the selection process. Their response clearly demonstrates their interest in selecting the new mascot,” said President Bonita Jacobs.
A nighthawk is a bird indigenous to the north Georgia region that hunts typically at dusk and dawn. It has pointed wings and intricately marked feathers that make it difficult to see when roosting. Nighthawks have a wing span of about two feet. Nighthawk males are able to make a unique, deep booming sound with their wings. Nighthawks migrate annually, sometimes at distances of up to nearly 7,000 miles.
Athletic Director Lindsay Reeves looks forward to involving a larger student body in the university’s athletic program and feels the selection of Nighthawks has attributes associated with competitive athletics.
“Based on our research in this process, nighthawks are agile and quick, they camouflage themselves when not flying and their long-distance migrations point to endurance and perseverance,” Reeves said.
The visual identity surrounding the new mascot is expected to be unveiled in January 2013, when the consolidation of the two institutions receives final authorization by the USG Board of Regents.
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