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Florida Poly unveils first-ever mascot, ‘Phoenix’

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On the final day of its inaugural class year, Florida Polytechnic unveiled “Phoenix,” the first-ever official mascot developed and voted on by students of Florida’s newest university.

On Wednesday, an audience of hundreds of cheering students and supporters gathered at the Florida Poly Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building for a scholarship luncheon ceremony celebrating the arrival of the new school spirit mascot.

Revealed by video, Phoenix was presented to an enthusiastic crowd of scholarship contributors and supporters as leaders handed out Phoenix t-shirts, buttons, and other memorabilia.

Full of symbolism, the Florida Polytechnic Phoenix takes its roots from Greek Mythology. With a clean design, the head looks skyward, as it strives to reach great heights. A pair of wings suggests the University’s iconic main structure, located along the I-4 High-Tech Corridor.

According to Florida Poly officials, each wing of the Phoenix has four feathers to embody the four STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. They also serve to represent the four core values in advancing technology and engineering: Adaptability, Collaboration, Innovation and Leadership.

“Students made an excellent choice in the Phoenix to represent Florida Poly,” said University President Randy Avent. “It is a stellar symbol of our spirit and culture, and it conveys that Florida Poly is a place of creativity, problem-solving and purpose.

“Our Inaugural Class should take great pride in defining this part of our legacy, and I look forward to seeing how they and our incoming class continue to shape our campus and traditions.”

The mascot selection project began in January, with the selection of 20 #NextGreatMascot Concept Teams made up of 87 Florida Poly student volunteers. Each team collaborated to pitch concepts while receiving expert advice and coaching along the way. A selection committee narrowed down the designs for a final vote by the student body in March.

“The process of making the new mascot, it was an amazing experience,” said freshman Veronica Herrera Perez, a member of the team that developed the winning Phoenix concept. “The Phoenix represents rising from the ashes. Florida Poly, as the newest university in the state, rose from the ground up.”

Jacob Livingston, a freshman who served on a team pitching a different concept, said that the goal was to “find a way to incorporate” Florida Poly’s distinctive IST Building.

“Up until now, that’s kind of been our mascot,” Livingston said. “When they showed the video with the louvers going up and the wings rising, it was a perfect match.”

Florida Polytechnic University is the state’s 12th public university and is dedicated exclusively to STEM education. The inaugural class year began on Aug. 25, 2014.

Photos courtesy Florida Polytechnic University.

EP 5 Highlight Recap #NextGreatMascot from Florida Poly on Vimeo.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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