Excitement and anticipation were growing throughout the basketball gymnasium recently on the Douglas and Waycross campuses as students, faculty, staff and community members waited for the entrance of the new South Georgia State College (SGSC) mascot. Amid cheers and applause, SGSC president, Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers, and student leaders led the new mascot, Talon, also known as Tally, onto the court complete with dramatic special effects and lighting. For those in attendance, the dramatic reveal made the experience even more exhilarating.
With the release of the 2019-2024 Moving Forward Strategic Plan, SGSC embarked on a mission to increase awareness of and grow the college for our current and future students. As part of the mission, a plan was put in place to rebrand elements of the college’s identity, beginning with athletics. The new Hawks mascot character was created to be an ambassador personifying the spirit of SGSC on each campus and within the regional community.
The redesigned mascot was crafted after a campus-wide, multi-faceted initiative to create a new mascot that embodied the college’s character while symbolizing SGSC’s sports heritage. A Mascot Advisory Committee was formed to oversee the process regarding the new visual identity and mascot costume. John Hartwell of Hartwell Studio Works was brought in to lead the design project for SGSC and carry it through to completion in order for the college to use the new logo and mascot character in its branding efforts.
Hartwell worked with the committee and other college constituents and developed a new stylization for the SGSC logo to be used on athletic uniforms and branding materials. The new logo incorporates the college’s colors of blue, gray and red, as a nod to the history of our athletic colors of the past. SGSC’s faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members were engaged in determining the name for the beloved new mascot.
The culminating events for the new logo and mascot took place with fanfare and excitement during two of the first SGSC Hawks basketball games of the 2019-2020 season on the Douglas and Waycross campuses. Pregame activities included live remotes with local radio stations, 93.5 Vibe FM and 105.1 KUB FM, and t-shirts decked out with the new Hawk mascot were given to students in attendance. During halftime of each game, the new mascot entered the court escorted by SGSC’s President Dr. Ingrid Thompson-Sellers and the Hawk’s very own student “security force.” The mascot was available for photo “selfies” with fans throughout the game and encouraged fans to cheer on the SGSC Hawks.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tally to our campuses and the entire region the college serves,” says Dr. Greg Tanner, interim executive director of government relations and athletics. “Having this mascot and the redesigned logo will help the students feel more connected to our school and will serve as a way to engage our potential students and supporters of the college.”
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