For the first time in almost two decades, Bradley will have a mascot: a gargoyle.
Following more than two years of focus groups and surveys, the university announced last week that a gargoyle will take shape as a new costumed mascot at athletic games and campus events.
“The development of a mas- cot provides an opportunity to address a multi-decade void in Bradley’s branding, marketing and presentation to the public,” Director of Athletics Michael Cross said.
The Office of Marketing and Publications, the Office of Athletics and the Athletic Branding Committee have teamed up in an effort to plan the official launch of the mascot.
Cross said that the designing and construction of the costume will take 14 to 16 weeks, and February would be the earliest time the mascot would arrive on campus. While the “Braves” have been associated with a Native American mascot in the past, Associate Vice President of Marketing Susan Andrews said a gargoyle will still fit with Bradley.
“The concept of the gargoyle ties in with the history of the uni- versity, reflects on the ‘Braves’ nickname and is unique among colleges and universities,” she said.
With the decision, Bradley is the only Division 1 school with a gargoyle mascot. Both Cross and Andrews con- firmed that the nickname will not change, based on strong responses from the people polled to remain the Braves.
Four separate gargoyle designs were proposed to focus groups in September, modeled after the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center’s “Thinker” gargoyle. They were created by the branding committee and Joe Bosnack Graphic Design Co.The designs featured two slightly different gargoyles – one with a friendlier face, muscular body and light stone color, and the other with a more fierce face, less muscles and a darker stone color.
For each gargoyle, there were two separate choices of clothing, with either a red shirt and shorts or a white shirt and red shorts.
As of now, one design is not the finalized decision, Cross said. Appearance, color, clothing and size, among other aspects, are all subject to change as the costume begins to take shape.
Cross said he believes the gargoyle mascot and the Braves nickname will merge smoothly.
“We’ve worked methodically to design a mascot that will complement our nickname … while simultaneously having a relationship to the university,” Cross said. “We believe the gargoyle con- cepts we are working on will achieve this goal and be well received by the community.”