CU Denver introduces mascot Milo the lynx
How the new ‘cool cat’ in town came to be
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 01:02
After much student fanfare, CU Denver finally unleashed what has been missing at the university for 40 years: A mascot.
Milo the lynx made his debut at last week’s spirit Thursday and was met with mixed reactions.
“The idea of a mascot has been around for ages, but really started picking up steam around two years ago, with student government really wanting to create a sense of community and school pride,” said Aaron Wilson, manager of club sports.
Soon after, surveys started going out to the student body and there were a few schools of thought. The 14ers and the Lynx were the most popular ideas, ultimately the latter being the winner, but not without some friction between the students and former chancellor Jerry Wartgow.
With the Tivoli being the most prominent building on campus, a group of students wanted to honor its brewing legacy and have our mascot be the brewers.
Additionally, there continues to be a small, but very vocal group that denounces UCD having its own a mascot at all, stating they prefer to have Ralphie the Buff from CU Boulder, as the unifying mascot. It’s important to note, however, that all the CU campuses operate as independent universities, including CU Colorado Springs who has had Boomer the Mountain Lion as its mascot since 1998.
Nevertheless, according Jacque Montgomery, director of public relations and media relations, the lynx was ultimately the most popular idea from UCD students, and a process of naming the mascot began. UCD ran a “Name Your Mascot” competition where student Juliana Valera produced the name “Milo,” a combination of Mile-High and Lower Downtown.
Despite the fact that Milo is new to the world, he has already been scheduled to make over 50 appearances throughout the course of the year. In addition to university events, UCD is planning to take Milo to local high schools, and has a request form online for anyone who wants Milo to appear at their event. As with any mascot appearance, travel fees are to be expected for any events outside of campus.
There is also a question of cost. How expensive is a mascot? The final tab for Milo, including producing the suit, paying the coach, and paying the performers is estimated to be around $15,000 according to Wilson. The funds were appropriated from a pool of money from the Chancellor’s office, Associate Vice Chancellor’s Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Student Life, and the Marketing and Communications Department.
However, he creation of Milo doesn’t ensure his continued existence. “This spring students will have the opportunity to vote for a referendum to continue funding the mascot program,” Wilson said.
The introduction of Milo is expected to bring new marketing options for UCD, and with Aaron Wilson looking to hire more performers, CU-Denver as a brand could potentially become more recognizable and relevant.