What has pointy ears, a blue tongue and a ton of school spirit?
That description couldn’t fit many beside the Lynx, the newly unveiled mascot of Carroll Community College who will cheer on athletes come fall of 2019.
The yet-unnamed cat spent Saturday hobnobbing at the Penguin Random House Book Fair, meeting guests and taking pictures. There were even a few Lynx stuffed animals offered as prizes for activities throughout the day.
The identity of the person inside the costume is a closely guarded secret, so the Times caught up with Director of Student Life Jen Milam. Athletics falls under the umbrella of Student Life and Milam has been one of the collaborators working to get the program off to a running start.
The Times caught up with Milam during the Penguin Random House Book Fair at the college to learn more about Carroll’s newest celebrity cat.
Q: I guess this is the first official outing for the Lynx. Is that right?
A: Yes. We did a reveal for the students on Wednesday. We wanted that to be special here to the campus, and then the community can see the Lynx today.
Q: Could you describe some of the traits of the Lynx that make it appealing as a college mascot?
A: The Lynx was initially proposed in relation to the constellation and the idea that Carroll students are reaching for the stars. The Lynx is unique, just like our students, and it’s fierceness mirrors the determination they have. Though many don’t think the Lynx are native to the area, the bobcat species does inhabit some areas of Maryland.
Q: Does the Lynx have any signature moves or dances yet?
A: It's still very new. It's definitely interactive and it does depend on who's in the suit, like what kind of the personality that they take on.
Q: And I heard that there might be a process to give a name to [the Lynx]. Is that right?
A: [During the reveal,] Dr. Ball mentioned that the Lynx does not currently have a name. And so if students have suggestions, they can stop by the Student Life Office. We're kind of hoping that the name will evolve naturally from the community here on campus so that it can feel like something that is natural. … Whatever we decide, we want the students to kind of see what fits.
Q: How do you hope a mascot will add to the athletic culture?
A: The mascot creates unity among the students, faculty and staff by giving us an identify to which we can all relate. Every person in the college community is a Lynx. The Lynx has already provided a sense of excitement on campus and will continue to build school spirit. We hope that spirit will grow in the community as we move into our first season this fall and beyond.