There’s a new Knight in town.
Arcadia University’s new Knight mascot was unveiled on Nov. 7 as part of the annual winter sports kickoff, Knight Madness, which introduces the athletic teams and ignites Arcadia pride. The evening included giveaways, competitions, and dancing before the Knight made its debut.
“A new era has dawned for Arcadia Athletics,”said Brian Granata, Arcadia’s director of athletics and recreation, who mentioned that the project required collaboration from many departments and offices across campus as well as student participation. “We are incredibly thrilled to have been able to unveil our new Knight mascot costume, and we are certainly very happy with the results and hope that the Knight can serve as a means of school spirit moving forward.”
One of the major reasons for the new mascot was the need to tie together the recent re-branding of Arcadia Athletics. The new mascot does a “remarkable job” of coordinating with the new logo, apparel, signage, website, and online store, Granata added.
“Once we rolled out the new logo design, there was an immediate need for a bigger, stronger, more fierce Knight to match the intensity of the logo,” said Dan Brumbach, a graphic designer in the Office of University Communications who helped to coordinate the making of the new mascot with Raymond Entertainment Group in West Grove, Pa., a company owned by David Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic.
Upon being introduced at Knight Madness, the Knight bounded onto the gym floor after Josh Stern, vice president for student affairs; Granata; Dr. Nicolette DeVille Christensen, president; and Alexa Strus ’15, student government president, had readied the floor for a knighting ceremony.
Dr. Christensen carried the sword for the ceremony on a red pillow, and after firing up the crowd for a moment, the Knight took a knee before Arcadia’s president. Strus then raised the sword and declared, “By the power vested in me, I dub thee Knight, mascot of Arcadia University. I command you to pump up the crowds and rally our teams to victory. Go forth as Knight!”
The mascot then proceeded to do just that,joining students in the stands and dancing as they cheered and knighted the mascot themselves with their foam swords.
Soon after, the cheerleaders performed and then gathered on one end of the gym to make a tunnel for the athletic teams to run through while they were introduced. Each team got a moment to shine as the stands, filled with about 1,200 students, cheered for the teams and enjoyed the spirited atmosphere.
“The fact that I’m now a senior really hit me during Knight Madness,” said Christina Yee ’14 in her Arcadia University blog. “The energy and AU Pride were the same as when I was a first-year [student] on those bleachers. … Thursday night was my last Knight Madness, but it’s a bittersweet feeling for me. No matter where I go, I will always be a proud Arcadia Knight.”