Whitman College's athletics teams have started to adopt the new college mascot, the Blues.
The Mascot Working Group selected the Blues after a months-long process that included campus working groups and several surveys that gathered input from the Whitman community. A nod to the Blue Mountains—which have long been an important symbol for the college and surrounding community—the Blues represent both a challenge and an accomplishment, the expansive way students see the world around them and the strong sense of connection between Whitman and the Walla Walla Valley.
The mascot selection process began in fall 2015, when a survey sent to more than 18,000 members of the Whitman community made it clear that Whitman's previous mascot, the Missionary, was no longer considered appropriate. Last summer, work began to identify a new official mascot, and a working group compiled a list of options suggested by the Whitman community.
The second survey, which received more than 1,500 responses, asked alumni, students, faculty and staff members to cast their votes. For 35 percent of voters, the Blues was their first choice, while 58 percent of the total votes placed it first or second. The Blues also received the fewest number of last-choice votes.
Now that the new mascot has been selected, the second phase will begin: hiring a firm to begin the work of visually representing the Blues, with an anticipated unveiling in the fall. Expect more information in the coming months.