As Central Carolina Technical College Public Relations Director Cathy Frye tells the story, when Michael Mikota came on as the new president at CCTC in 2017, he was looking to make some enhancements to the campus.
Welding Technology Program …
This item is available in full to subscribers
Click here to log in
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
If you aren't yet a subscriber,
click here to start a new subscription.
Welding Technology Program Manager Axel Reis came up with a drawing of Atlas, who in Greek mythology was a Titan and entrusted with holding up the celestial heavens, represented in a sphere or globe format. The college already used a globe figure as a mark, and the initial plan was that Reis would create a metal figure to place on the front of the campus as a display.
Mikota loved the representation, Frye said, and after one discussion led to another, the conversation among some college leaders became, "Why don't we have a mascot?"
Atlas is also known as the god of endurance, and that personifies many of the college's students, according to Frye, who may be changing careers while they're still working and raising a family.
Mikota told Frye, who is a graphic designer, to run with the idea of Atlas as a mascot and see where it went.
In the creation process, Frye said she realized that now banks, businesses and many others have mascots, and it's no longer just limited to sports teams, which the college doesn't have.
"Mascots have become an identification for people," Frye said. "In elementary school, you don't have sports, but I'm still a Gator from where I went to school. It's just a brand, it's what you can identify as, and I think that is really something people like. So, we can call ourselves a Titan now. Mascots are just a fun thing that people identify with."
Frye and the public relations department conducted focus groups with faculty and staff and also did student surveys ,and everybody was in support.
In January, she had to present her physical mascot creation to the college's commission board, she said.
Commission members felt her creation was a little too "cartoony," Frye said, but wanted to unveil the mascot at spring graduation services earlier this month.
With the commission's direction, she sought out and found a custom mascot company.
Frye said she sent the firm the college's logo, and it created a 3-D rendering. After some tweaking back and forth, the college ordered the mascot creation, and when it came in, everybody was very impressed, she said.
Now, Frye said she thinks the mascot will be great for branding the college on T-shirts, jackets, tumblers and other merchandise.
She also said she thinks it will help with the college's community involvement.
"We have four counties in our service area, and they all have Christmas parades," Frye said, "things like that that you don't really think of, but you want to be involved with."
She also handed stickers out to kids at the graduation ceremonies and thinks it will make an impact with them. Frye and administration also think it can help the college with student recruitment.
She said she thinks the mascot will be an all-around bonus and a great addition for CCTC. She said she also likes that "it has a professional, collegiate look" in order to get away from the old idea of a technical college as a secondary choice for students.
Frye and her staff now realize how big of a project it is to add something like this to a college, she said.
Frye has been a graphic designer for more than a decade and said it's been neat to see the full process from creation until now.
"The Titan, from my standpoint, has been very cool because I did it on a computer," Frye said. "I did this 2-D drawing, and then I get to see it as a 3-D mascot. I have never experienced that before, so it's pretty surreal to see that, and for it to come out as what I was hoping for."
More Articles to Read