In late February students, staff, faculty, and alumni should expect an email with a ballot to vote for the name of Reinhardt’s mascot, the eagle. While Reinhardt has had an eagle as a mascot for thirty years, the eagle has never had an official name. This year the Student Government Association is working to change that in their plans to ramp up school spirit. In addition to a new football team, Reinhardt will get a new marching band, official fight song, and a real mascot name. In the past students have referred to the mascot as “Soar” or “Reiny” but no name has ever been officially recognized by the university.
In 1982 Thelma Rogers, a member of the physical education faculty, decided Reinhardt needed a mascot. An eagle was decided on, perhaps because of Reinhardt’s religious ties and the inspiration of Isaiah 40:31: “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Originally part of the cheerleading team, the mascot appeared at athletic campus events and wore the same costume for twenty-five years. Five years ago, SGA took over the mascot. They bought a new eagle costume as well as multiple outfits for the different athletic events. The mascot currently has basketball, soccer, and spirit costumes for campus events such as Orientation and Experience Reinhardt. Next year the mascot will also have a football uniform and will make appearances at football games, pep rallies, and community events. SGA has funded $1,000 for this semester’s mascot program assistant position, which is currently filled by Brad Cook. As the mascot, Brad will have attended over 50 home games in the spring semester and will continue to attend even more with the football program in the fall. Athletic Director Bill Popp is excited about the naming of the mascot. “This is one of those moments at Reinhardt that we can all come together over a common theme like our mascot and truly have a group effect on a tradition that will last for many many years,” comments Popp.
Walter May, Director of Student Activities, was pleasantly surprised at the level of participation in the naming nomination process and was amazed in the knowledge students had in the history of Reinhardt and North Georgia. In the first day of nomination, over thirty names were submitted. By the end of the nomination process, eighty names had been submitted. Some names tied in relation to both Reinhardt and Georgia’s past, including Gordy, Hasty, Tara, Captain Reinhardt, and Augustus or ”Gus”, the school’s founder. Others submitted eagle-related names such as Talon and Soar. The
nomination committee is currently eliminating names and will provide a ballot with five names they feel will represent Reinhardt in the best possible way. After the ballots from students, staff, and alumni are counted, the committee will present the votes to administration. The administrators of Reinhardt will have the final say in the naming of the mascot.
Keep waiting for the ballot, and take part in the naming of your mascot!