New mascot name sparks student debate

Drake has fought his last, and Victor E. Knight – Gannon University’s new mascot – is ready to take his valiant place in battle.

Jessica Shirley, a sophomore occupational therapy major and the Gannon cheerleading squad captain, said the new name came with a new mascot; more up-to-date and Gannon-personalized.

Karla Wludgya, director of public relations and communications told the Knight last year that the new name was necessary because when they took the mascot to Pittsburgh people didn’t recognize Gannon. Also, Drake was confused with Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

The cheerleaders joined with the spirit committee to come up with names that they thought would be appealing. The five names selected were “Storm E. Knight,” “Victor E. Knight,” “Mack the Knight,” “Golden (Goldy) Knight” and “Luckey Knight.”

After three weeks of voting by students, alumni and faculty on Facebook, through email and at a table at the Waldron Campus Center, “Victor E. Knight” was picked as the new mascot’s name.

Victor E. Knight was unveiled at a pep rally held Thursday of Homecoming weekend.

Shirley said students shouldn’t miss Drake too much. She said Drake will still make appearances with the new mascot at alumni events.

“Drake is still around,” she said. “There’s just two versions of him now.”

Some Gannon students are less optimistic about the change. Eric Krutel, a senior biology major, said he liked Drake better because it was more of a “go-getter” name. He didn’t participate in the voting, because he didn’t like any of the choices. He said he thinks Victor E. Knight is “cheesy” and would make more sense for a high school mascot.

Krutel said he thinks it’s nice that they updated the costume, but he’s not as interested in that as he is in the name change.

Bryan Sundy, a junior sport and exercise science major, also preferred Drake.

“I feel like Victor E. Knight is too lengthy for a mascot,” he said.

He also felt like the change was abrupt and unnecessary.

“I don’t know why we had to change it,” he said. “Usually when you pick a mascot, you stick with it pretty much for the entire length of your school.”

Sean Floor, a senior criminal justice major who is on the wrestling team, didn’t know about the change. But when he was informed, he wasn’t impressed with word-play.

“It’s just long,” he said. “Why does there have to be a middle name?”

TESSY PAWLOWSKI

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