Southeast Rolling Out Redhawks Mascot Jan. 22

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Jan. 14, 2005 – Southeast Missouri State University will officially roll out its new Redhawks mascot with special festivities planned prior to the men’s basketball game Jan. 22 at the Show Me Center.

The celebration is scheduled to begin at 4:45 p.m. prior to the 5 p.m. tipoff of the Southeast men’s game. The women’s game will follow at 7:30 p.m. Southeast will take on Austin Peay in both games. Doors to the Show Me Center will open at 4 p.m.

Southeast’s new costumed mascot will take the floor for the first time, and the mascot’s name, on which students, alumni, Boosters, faculty, staff and friends of the University were asked to vote during Homecoming week last fall, will be officially announced at this time. The name will be one of five – Rally, Ricky, Rocky, Rowdy or Rudy –that were among some 500 suggested names submitted to a committee and narrowed to a smaller slate last year.

 “Our pre-game and halftime activities are going to be festive,” said Dr. Charles Wiles, director of sports marketing at Southeast. “It’s going to be a fun, exciting celebration.”

Corporate sponsors for the event are UPN the Beat and BA Promotions, and more than 1,500 T-shirts will be given away as part of the celebration.

Wiles says the Copi-Rite/Nextel blimp will drop special prizes during the event, and at halftime of the men’s game, hundreds of T-shirts will be shot from the Burger King T-shirt cannon. Halftime festivities will feature 20 Mylar cannons shooting special effect streamers. The Redhawks mascot, Southeast Sundancers, Southeast cheerleaders and 80 youth from Blanchard Elementary School also will perform during halftime.

Wiles said the Blanchard Elementary School jump rope team will perform between the men’s and women’s games, and the celebration will continue into the women’s game.

Southeast retired the use of its longtime “Indian” and “Otahkian” Native American nicknames at a ceremony in October. This came after the University’s Board of Regents voted in June to accept the new Redhawks nickname and discontinue the use of Native American nicknames. The Board accepted the recommendations of a committee, acknowledging that the designation of Native American people as nicknames and mascots can be viewed as insensitive and offensive.

In November, the Board of Regents accepted a new Redhawks logo design.

Under the new nickname, both Southeast’s men’s and women’s athletic teams will be known as the Redhawks.

The University unveiled its new Redhawks merchandise at an event in December. Clothing and other Redhawks merchandise are now on sale in the Southeast Bookstore, and items will be available for purchase at the games on Jan. 22 in the Show Me Center.