Indiana University East is now the Red Wolves. The new mascot was unveiled at a press conference on Wednesday at IU East.
The Red Wolves name was chosen because it represents the spirit and energy of Indiana University East. Red Wolves are aggressive, swift, and noble. They also move in packs, symbolic of IU East’s family atmosphere and supportive environment.
“Thank you to all those on campus and in the community who participated in this process. We are thrilled with the outcome,” said Interim Chancellor Nasser Paydar. “The Red Wolves name and logo will inspire pride in our university, a competitive spirit among our student-athletes, and a unique identity we can all be proud to support.”
The Red Wolves name also captures the distinctiveness of IU East’s new mission as east central Indiana’s and west central Ohio’s leader in baccalaureate and graduate education. IU East will be the only university in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) with this mascot name.
The new nickname also brings some geographic history, as the Red Wolf animal once inhabited the area.
“This is an exciting day for our university and our athletics program,” said Mark Hester, athletic director and men’s basketball coach. “The IU East Red Wolves will be fierce competitors and will be committed to excellence in athletics and academics.”
The selection of a new mascot resulted from a five-month process. After a recommendation from a committee of IU East students, faculty, staff, and alumni, IU East announced in November that it would replace the Pioneer mascot. During an open nomination process, the campus received more than 165 different mascot name suggestions. In January the mascot steering committee narrowed the list to five finalists: Bruins, Crimson Pride, Mavericks, Red Storm, and Red Wolves. Public voting for a favorite finalist then took place online through February. More than 600 votes were cast, and Red Wolves and Crimson Pride were the top two in votes received.
The mascot name change coincides with the university’s transition to a full-fledged bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting campus and its launch of intercollegiate athletics. IU East competed in women’s volleyball, men’s basketball, and men’s golf in 2007-08, its inaugural season in the NAIA. Three more sports – men’s and women’s cross country and women’s golf -will begin play in the fall of 2008.