The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Ask Maddy: UR’s newest mascot (and Black Excellence Gala tips)

Dear Maddy,

Hypothetically, if UR were to rebrand and get a new mascot what should it be? The squirrel, the owl, dhall cat, the geese, or something totally diff?

Dear reader,

I love fun questions, and this is one of them! The University of Richmond has a number of top contenders to become our newest mascot. Your question also inspired The Collegian to ask its readers for their favorite mascot on Instagram! Here’s what readers voted for:


Here, I’ll flesh out some of the pros and cons of each of the mascots you’ve suggested. I’ll also throw in one of my own!

The Squirrel

You’ve seen them all over campus – crossing the street by Westhampton Lake, running on the banisters at Tyler Haynes Commons and nibbling on fallen food by Boatwright Memorial Library – the squirrels run UR’s campus. They’re relevant, they’re fast and above all, they’re cute.

As a mascot, however, their cuteness could be their downfall. I know for a fact that if a team came to the Robins Center for a basketball game, I wouldn’t be intimidated – I’d be amused.

The Owl

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We all remember the owl conundrum from last semester. Whether it was a lone actor or a family of nighttime birds, the owl proved itself as an intimidating, powerful bird capable of taking care of itself. As a mascot, the owl would look fearless – and it would hint at the bookish nature of the students here.

In hindsight, the owl could be offensive. If I had been attacked numerous times and found out the school changed its mascot to resemble my assailant, I’d be pretty upset.

Dhall Cat

Outside the Heilman Dining Center, a curious little cat roams the hill leading from the University Forum to Westhampton Green. The cat’s a little shy, but it’s survived off the good deeds of those passing by, including faculty and staff working in the buildings nearby. I usually pass the cat on my way up Mount Modlin, where it sits sipping from a small bowl at the edge of the bushes lining the parking lot.

I think Dhall cat is really adorable. It may be too cute and cuddly for a mascot, though.

The Geese

This is one of the more interesting contenders. The geese that live on the lake are among some of the most beautiful animals on campus – and I believe they know it. Some may call them arrogant – they waddle across the street despite traffic and poop wherever they feel – but this kind of attitude could be perfect for a dynamic mascot.

Now, I’m not saying our new mascot should start defecating all over campus, but there is something to be said about a mascot that is comfortable in their own skin (or wings). As long as a goose mascot doesn’t become too cocky – or, puff out its chest too much – it could work.

Introducing: The Cardinal

As a native of Virginia, I would like to enter the cardinal as a contender for UR’s newest mascot. The cardinal is the Virginia state bird. Its striking red feathers resemble the colors in our school’s crest. In some cultures, the cardinal is also seen as a sign of good luck – they’re rare to come by but distinctively noticeable when found.

I could be a bit biased here, but the cardinal could be a great new mascot for UR. That is, if we would ever get rid of WebstUR the Spider – no offense of course.



P.S. I’m back with another bonus question! This one is particularly timely, too.

Hi Maddy, 

What should I do if I have no idea what to wear to the Black Excellence Gala? What do I wear? Where do I even begin?

For those who aren’t aware, the Black Excellence Gala will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. The evening is spent celebrating Black culture, contributions and achievements by recognizing the meaningful work done by Black students, faculty and staff over the past year.

The Black Excellence Gala is also a chance to show out. If you’re looking for a place to start, think of a smaller version of a prom with Black excellence at the center. It’s honestly one of my favorite nights of the year – and this one, it turns out, is my very last one.

Gala attire varies from one person to the next, but I generally think people lean toward clothes you would wear to a formal dance, like high school prom or Ring Dance. Long and short cocktail dresses are perfectly acceptable. Suits and ties, as well as button up shirts and slacks, are also fine.

Where to look for your fit also varies. I have bought each of my gala dresses – including the one for this year – for $30 or less from Ross each year. Around this time, popular department stores are beginning to put their prom attire out, which is perfect for the occasion. I also talked to upperclassmen about what they wore (I actually just stalked some of them on Instagram, but you get it).

On the other hand, I know of a number of people who regularly drop about $100 or more on clothing, accessories, hair and more each year. It’s really up to the budget you decide on, but as an annual event, I always suggest people work their way up to their most impressive look by senior year.

If you have any other specific questions – or want to look through my closet – you know where to find me!

contact writer Madyson Fitzgerald at 

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