College narrows mascot choices

LAWRENCEVILLE - The Centurions. The Generals. The Green Knights. The Grizzlies. The Patriots.

In about three weeks, Georgia Gwinnett College will be associated with one of those names.

Georgia Gwinnett's Student Government Association picked these five potential mascots from about 700 submissions, SGA President Billy Johnson said Thursday. The final selections were made because they represent "strength, pride and endurance," he said.

"They all embody what it means to be a GGC student," Johnson said, "whether it's the strength of the community as a whole or the leadership ability our graduates will have or the nobleness of being the first to do something."

The public was invited last month to submit their suggestions for the college's mascot. While Georgia Gwinnett's students and employees sent in their ideas, Johnson said the majority of the nominations came from people who identified themselves as community members.

"It's nice to see the community get involved in the college in any way they can," Johnson said.

Jim Fatzinger, the college's associate vice president for student affairs, said in a news release that community members submitted "some thoughtful, creative suggestions."

"We couldn't have asked for more support and excitement for the growth of the college," his statement said.

Johnson said the SGA reviewed the submissions, eliminating anything that was inappropriate or was already used to represent another Georgia school.

The Generals received several nominations, and many were from people who wanted to honor GGC President Daniel Kaufman, a retired brigadier general. But the Generals would also represent leadership, Johnson said.

There were also duplicate submissions for the Centurions, but each nomination came with a different reason, Johnson said. One reason was because Georgia Gwinnett is the first college to be founded in the 21st century, but other submissions suggested the Roman army leaders because they would represent skill, leadership, teamwork and history.

The Patriots was a popular pick, because Johnson said it would represent the students who have been trendsetters and who have set the bar high for those who will follow.

The Grizzlies made it into the mix because some people feel a mascot should be an animal, Johnson said. That subspecies of brown bear is also powerful and embodies what the college can be one day.

The Green Knights are noble figures, and Johnson said they would wear the college's official color: Georgia Gwinnett green.

Next week, the college's students will help narrow the field by selecting their favorites. The top three vote-getters will be forwarded to GGC President Daniel Kaufman, who will have the final say in what will ultimately represent the school.

The mascot is scheduled to be unveiled Feb. 29.