Evangel University unveils new mascot

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 11:06 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2021 at 6:17 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Evangel University selected its new mascot – Valor.

Valor is represented by a horse symbolizing the character and strength of Evangel.

“The process of selecting a new mascot that best represented our university was a comprehensive and thoughtful one,” said Dr. Michael Kolstad, vice president for university advancement. “Valor was among the list of submitted mascot names, and it continually rose to the top of the list among our focus groups and mascot selection committee.”

The mascot selection process began earlier this year following a decision by the university’s board of trustees to retire the Crusader mascot. In all, the university received feedback from more than 800 alumni, current students, faculty, and staff, and collected a total of 700 mascot submissions.

“We had just about every animal and creature mentioned in the Bible,” Kolstad said. “Probably the funniest one came when people thought about what’s an animal unique to Missouri. Well, (they came up with) our salamander, the hellbender. But we didn’t think the hellbender would work real well at Evangel.”

The Crusader had been the school’s mascot since its inception in 1955 but in the past six years, Kolstad said the university had started to move away from the moniker.

“When you look at Crusaders you obviously look at history,” he said. “Back in the crusades these were very noble efforts but there was a lot of bad too. We have alumni worldwide and they’re in a part of the world where you’ve got to be careful. You can’t wear a shirt that says ‘Crusaders’ if you’re in a Muslim country for example. We just felt it didn’t depict what Evangel is now. We wanted something more positive.”

According to the school’s news release, the evolution from a Crusader riding a horse to the horse itself was an intentional shift.

“The horse is a vehicle used to share a message, just as God inspires Evangel students to share the good news of Christ,” the release said.

The Valor logo was designed by Hampton Creative, an independent branding agency based out of Tulsa, OK. The design is intended to visually communicate strength, nobility, and fervor. Each element of the logo mark works cohesively to tell a powerful story of courage and commitment.

  • Ears: Valor’s ears are forward and alert to signal fixed attention on his opponent and the task at hand
  • Eyes: Valor’s eyes are focused. His knitted brow communicates fervor and courage as he charges bravely into the fray.
  • Head: Valor’s head position and determined demeanor reflect quiet confidence and uncommon strength of mind and Spirit.
  • Mane: Valor’s fiery mane consists of three primary segments representing the reason he competes – to glorify the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • Neck: Valor’s muscular neck mirrors the shield of the Evangel University logo, symbolizing the importance of academic and athletic development.

Right after the new mascot logo was revealed on Wednesday the school handed out free T-shirts with the new logo to students and faculty. The old Crusader name and logo are still scattered throughout campus, visible on the basketball scoreboard and painted on the gym floor. Kolstad said it might take as long as a couple of years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to get all the logos changed.

And there will certainly be those people who don’t like the change.

“Of course everyone has a personal preference and opinion whether that be about the design or name but we’re confident because ‘Valor” rose to the top in almost all of our focus groups and our mascot selection committee discussions,” explained Erin Hedlun, Evangel’s Director of Marketing and Communication. “It certainly was a collaborative effort and we’re proud to really embrace that as our community spirit here that we certainly are ‘Valor’.”

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