McPherson College is asking students, alumni, faculty and staff to work at giving an old dog a new look.
With the McPherson College Bulldog Mascot Design Contest, the marketing department is offering $1,000 to the winning entry and the opportunity for that winning design to be the official Bulldog mascot for years to come. The contest was announced on campus Oct. 9 and entries will be accepted through 5 p.m. central time on Nov. 30.
"As we're seeking a new look for the Bulldog, we knew it would be more meaningful for a member of our MC family to create it," said Colleen Gustafson, manager of strategic marketing and branding. "We have such an incredibly talented community of students, employees and alumni who are invested in the McPherson College identity and experience. I'm certain we will receive many wonderful and unique entries."
Those who don't want to submit a design can still contribute to choosing the final look of the Bulldog by voting online for their favorite entry after the final designs are posted.
The Bulldog as the McPherson College mascot dates back to Ellis D. Verink, who coached basketball at MC from 1915 to 1917. Ben was Verink's 67-pound English Pitt Bull and was often seen on his evening "constitutional" around McPherson, with Verink keeping up behind him on a bicycle.
While good-natured, Ben also didn't put up with other dogs trying to push him around. Verink - in a 1948 alumni newsletter - said Ben was never one to pick a fight, but if another dog tried to start something he was "... entirely successful in defending his honor."
Ben was known to check on every player as they came off the floor to the bench - sniffing them over to check on them and make sure they met his approval. From this history, the Bulldog has come to stand for honor, loyalty, and a good-natured attitude with a streak of spunk and toughness.
Full details of the contest, official rules, and the official entry form are available at www.designthebulldog.com. Highlights to keep in mind from the official rules include:
• Participants may enter as many entries as they would like.
• Only original art or designs may be submitted.
• The Bulldog's fur must be white in color and a "headshot" of the Bulldog must be included in the design. Variations may be included along with the headshot.
• Text is not permitted in the design.
• The college requests that entrants protect their work and not post submissions on public sharing websites (such as DeviantArt, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like) or risk possible disqualification.