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GGC unveils name of mascot

LAWRENCEVILLE - Watch out, Beau. There's a new General in Gwinnett.

Georgia Gwinnett College unveiled the name of its mascot Saturday at the second annual Rock 'N' Rib Fest in historic Lawrenceville. The Grizzly's name is General.

(General Beauregard "Beau" Lee, by the way, is a groundhog that lives at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn. He's Georgia's official weather prognosticator.)

Students at the state's newest four-year college selected the Grizzly's name, just as they chose the school's mascot last year. The bear's name is a tribute to GGC President Daniel Kaufman, a retired brigadier general.

The mascot made his first public appearance a year ago at the Rock 'N Rib Fest, designed to celebrate Georgia Gwinnett College. The festival is held on the Lawrenceville square.

Student Cesar Puerto said he thinks it strengthens the community to have an off-campus festival in honor of the college.

"This is the old and the new coming together," said Puerto, 20. "Lawrenceville and Georgia Gwinnett College have a symbiotic relationship. As the college grows, the town grows."

Several college students attended the event, which featured live music, a rib eating contest, a Grizzly Burger eating contest and a tug-of-war game.

Michael Jamison, 20, said he came to the festival to support his college.

"Despite the cold, I'm having fun," he said.

It was a cold, drizzly afternoon, with temperatures ranging from the high 40s to low 50s.

Georgia Gwinnett College opened in 2006 and quickly became a significant part of the Lawrenceville community, Mayor Rex Millsaps said.

"You turned a little plot of land into a beautiful campus that calls Lawrenceville home," Millsaps told Kaufman after presenting the college president with the Golden Hardhat award.

Kaufman said the college is proud to be a part of the community.

"Lawrenceville is our hometown," Kaufman said. "We look forward to growing with you in the years ahead."