IUPUC officially has a mascot, and it will share a color with its university partner in Bloomington.

IUPUC announced its choice, Crimson Pride, at noon Wednesday on campus during its celebration of IU Day, a worldwide, social media-focused awareness campaign for Indiana University.

It was one of two IU Day announcements at the Columbus university, with the second one a gift from a Columbus couple that will go toward IUPUC student-retention scholarships.

“Crimson Pride highlights our connection with Indiana University and the importance of working together to achieve our goals, much as a pride of lions works together to care for and nurture its members,” IUPUC Vice Chancellor and Dean Reinhold Hill said.

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The name of IUPUC’s mascot sounds similar to that of the University of Alabama sports teams, the Crimson Tide, but there shouldn’t be any confusion. IUPUC doesn’t have a football team, much less a nationally-ranked one like Alabama.

And, Crimson is one of the colors used by the Bloomington-based campus.

The mascot also has a tie to Purdue as Purdue Northwest’s mascot, “The Pride,” although IUPUC used that name before Purdue Northwest announced its mascot last year, said Carol Branson, director of communications and marketing at IUPUC.

In the past, IUPUC had used the face of a lion called “The Pride” as an unofficial spirit mark. The university received approval last summer from Hill to adopt an official mascot, IUPUC digital media specialist Ryan Wooley said.

Crimson Pride was selected by the campus community out of a list of 10 potential choices, Wooley said. More than 200 students, faculty and staff members voted during the university’s annual homecoming event.

Alec Billings, a junior and biology major at IUPUC, voted for The Pride first and Crimson Pride second at homecoming.

“I like (Crimson Pride) because it’s not a really big change for the school,” Billings said.

Other mascot contenders included the Bears, Aviators, Owls, Foxes, Flyers, Turbos, Barnstormers, The Pride and the letter “C” that is seen around town. Overwhelmingly, Crimson Pride took first place, Wooley said.

Crimson Pride will be a lion, but the school is still working on the finished look, with the help of IU communications specialists and an illustrator.

Once the uniform and image are perfected, Crimson Pride will become the face of the school. The mascot will be seen at campus events, such as college visit days, intramural sport events and homecoming, as well as community parades and events such as Ethnic Expo, Wooley said.

IUPUC plans to unveil the mascot at the Big Red Blowout, which is normally conducted on a Thursday at the beginning of the fall semester, Wooley said.

Scholarship announcement

IUPUC also used IU Day to announce a gift from Columbus residents Tina and Tom Vujovich for a new scholarship, Reach Your Dreams.The Vujoviches pledged $100,000 last year, with $50,000 of the amount allocated toward endowments and matched scholarships. The Reach Your Dreams scholarship was created with the intention of assisting qualified students at IUPUC to stay in school.

“Endowed scholarships, such as the scholarship established by the generous contribution of Tina and Tom Vujovich, allow us to retain our most talented students,” Hill said.

“The scholarship provides support towards degree completion, and often facilitates the student’s concentration towards their education as opposed to outside employment, consequently providing an opportunity to complete their undergraduate degree in four years,” he said.

“Campuses are evaluated on retention and graduation rates, which can affect funding for the campus. Because students who are retained are making real progress toward degree completion, they are the ones most likely to graduate and enjoy the benefits of a university education,” said Gary Felsten, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of psychology at IUPUC.

Scholarship details

A new Reach Your Dreams scholarship at IUPUC is funded from a gift by Tina and Tom Vujovich of Columbus.

Scholarship criteria:

  • IUPUC undergraduate students who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Incoming freshmen are not eligible
  • The scholarship is not renewable
  • The number, amount and recipients of the scholarship will be determined by the IUPUC Scholarship Committee.
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Kaitlyn Evener is an editorial assistant for The Republic. She can be reached at kevener@therepublic.com or 812-379-5633.