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Office of Communications
2 East South Street
Galesburg, IL 61401-4999
September 12, 2016
In addition to shaking hands with nearly 1,000 students, faculty, and staff at Knox College's annual Pumphandle on Sunday, September 11, members of the community also welcomed the College's first official mascot. The Prairie Fire fox was unveiled shortly before the annual tradition began on the South Lawn of Old Main. Free temporary tattoos, buttons, and t-shirts featuring the new mascot were distributed to students to celebrate the new member of the Knox community.
"When we unveiled the new Prairie Fire logo last February, students and coaches immediately started asking me about a mascot, and it was gratifying to finally reveal this new addition to our athletics program" said Chad Eisele, Knox College director of athletics. "The excitement and energy surrounding Prairie Fire athletics after the reveal of the new logo was contagious, and we are confident that our new mascot will help bring even more excitement to our athletics program and College events."
Knox students will get the opportunity to name the new mascot this fall. Members of Student Senate and the Student Athletics Advisory Committee are tabling in Seymour Union during the first week of classes to collect potential names for the fox. Students will then vote on names the following week. Knox students and alumni will meet the new mascot—and learn its name—on the evening of Friday, October 14, at a special event during Knox's Homecoming weekend.
President Teresa Amott, with the help of members of Student Senate and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, officially unveiled the mascot for the Knox community.
"I love that our teams are called the Prairie Fire because it's a unique name, and it captures the energy of Knox," said President Amott prior to the unveiling. "But it is very hard to relate to a prairie fire. You can't tame it, you can't have it follow you around, you can't shake hands with it. So a group of people went to work trying to find a symbol that would be the embodiment of the Prairie Fire."
Once unveiled, the new Prairie Fire fox mascot was greeted with cheers from the crowd. The new mascot was developed in conjunction with the new Prairie Fire logo, which was revealed in February 2016. The mascot and logo were designed and developed by SME, Inc. in New York, a brand development and creative consultant who has worked with many colleges and universities around the country. Knox athletics worked together with the Offices of Communications, Admission, and Advancement and AtLast Communications on the development of both projects. The project was started last August and included review and comment from members of the Knox community, including students, coaches, faculty, and staff.
This isn't the first time that Knox has had a mascot. In the 1980s, the College did introduce an owl as a mascot, which was featured on athletic programs and at games. The owl ultimately didn't catch on and was retired after a few years.
"We are confident that the Prairie Fire fox will help us to continue to build pride and excitement in our athletics program and to recruit a new generation of student-athletes," added Eisele. "We look forward to introducing our new mascot to Knox students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as the Galesburg community, in the coming months."
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