Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rio Announces Choice for New Mascot

Image of Dr. Bustamante making announcement, balloons falling from cieling.

After weeks of reviewing entries, tallying votes and deliberation, Rio Salado College has decided on a new mascot concept.

“We are the Rio Waves,” announced Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante at today’s college wide meeting for staff at the Tempe headquarters.

While the actual Rio Wave mascot and name are still in development, the inspiration is clear.

The Rio Waves will help us tell our story by representing the water of the Salt River and how the college cuts through barriers and navigates around obstacles in order to find innovative ways to serve non-traditional students,” said Bustamante.

The process has drawn quite a bit of community engagement.

The college invited the public to submit mascot concepts last January, which motivated 134 people to submit more than 200 ideas, including things like the Salty Dogs, Sun Storks, Rio Salt Shakers, Rip Tides and Beach Buoys.

After sorting through the most popular entries, the college Mascot Committee chose seven finalists: Beaver, Mouse, Raven, River Rat, Roadrunner, Surfer and Wave/Splash.

The college called on the public to choose the final three. More than 1,300 people responded and narrowed the search to: Raven, Roadrunner and Wave/Splash.

The college Mascot Committee and Executive Team decided the Rio Waves was the clear choice.

 Bustamante receives top secret briefcase with final decision.

The committee was comprised of faculty, staff and students. Their primary objective: to find a mascot that relates to Rio Salado’s unique mission, flexible learning format, innovative practices and college culture.

Artists from the college’s Institutional Advancement creative services unit are already drafting design concepts for a Rio Wave mascot. Once complete, the college will call on the public once again to help name the mascot.

One thing is likely certain, the mascot will be responsible for leading event attendees in the wave!

Rio Salado employees practicing the wave at college wide meeting today.

This clever video highlights Rio Salado staff predictions and President Chris Bustamante's declaration of what the mascot will be.

You can find additional photos from our college wide meeting and mascot announcement on Facebook.