Goshen College and Bethel College unveiled new mascots during homecoming activities Oct. 7 and 8.
Goshen’s mascot, Dash, a black squirrel, debuted Oct. 7 during the Homecoming Weekend convocation. It was previously announced the new mascot would be a black squirrel, and the full embodiment and name was revealed that day.
Dash, who wears a size 42 shoe, will be regularly present at athletic and community events. The Maple Leafs will remain the moniker for Goshen’s athletic teams.
“We can’t think of a better lasting mascot than Dash,” said athletic director Erica Albertin. “We know the personality of the squirrel represents our institution and athletics: energetic, friendly, enthusiastic, clever, quick and small but mighty.”
The black squirrel was chosen after input from students, alumni and employees in a fall survey, with overwhelming 75% support. Students, alumni and employees also gave their input on the name, with Dash being the favorite among all three groups.
Bethel’s symbol — a threshing stone — presented the challenge of developing a costume based on a piece of 19th-century farming equipment.
Tricia Clark, director of institutional communications and marketing, said the process took “three years googling every mascot design from the last 50 years; five months of intense design work with Street Characters Inc.; and a thousand creative discussions with the genius Bethel cheer coach, Joseph Gogus.”
The result is Threshy, introduced to Bethel alumni, football fans and the world on Oct. 8 at Fall Festival, when the Threshers, ranked No. 12 in the NAIA national poll, beat No. 6 Southwestern College in the homecoming football game.
Threshy will join Bethel superfan Loren Reusser of North Newton to fire up the crowd at games and matches and will be part of other special occasions such as alumni gatherings and recruitment events.