The Alfred State Pioneers have a new animal mascot. After more than a year of branding research and polling at Alfred State College (ASC), the winning animal is an ox. The image of the ox and a dynamic new “Alfred State Pioneers” school spirit wordmark are just some of the changes coming to a fast-growing athletics program.
“We are eager to launch our new brand this fall, which will set the direction for the next generation of Alfred State Pioneers,” said Alfred State Director of Athletics Jason Doviak. “After a lengthy and inclusive process, the campus community felt that an ox would be the ideal mascot to represent our institutional nickname. Throughout the design phase, the new logo has generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm. Our student-athletes and Athletic Department will now have a true brand for the first time in our history. The new look will help accelerate the momentum we have in gaining official NCAA Division III status, securing a multisport conference home in the AMCC, and moving us forward as a national program.”
Instead of hiring a consultant, Chief Marketing Officer Russ Nunley led a 23-member branding committee to gather input from faculty, students, staff, and alumni. The committee supervised research, animal selection, and design of the new mascot.
Previously, the college has relied on depictions of human characters such as Pioneer Pete or Orvis the Pioneer. The committee determined that an animal mascot is more inclusive and inviting. The goal is to provide athletes, students, alumni, and fans with a loveable animal mascot.
The mascot’s design includes a furrowed brow, a snarl, and one hoof raised showing that the Pioneers are ready for competition. This new logo will enhance an already strong connection that ASC has with the Pioneers nickname.
“Pioneers both from history and today are known for forging ahead, leading others, and mastering skills to succeed,” said Alfred State President Dr. Skip Sullivan. “The Pioneers nickname is perfect for our college. When we asked our students, they overwhelmingly recognized the importance of an ox for helping the pioneers. We will once again rely on input from our students this fall as we vote on a name for this friend of the pioneers.”
The new mascot is a reminder of how much of a team player the ox is for getting work done. “As strong as an ox” is an expression that has endured for centuries because of the solid and hard-working attitude of the animal. The mascot choice is also appropriate for a college that started as an agricultural school in 1908 and has grown to offer more than 70 majors.