The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947

THE GANNON KNIGHT

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February 23, 2024

Knight earns scholarship

Students will be representing Gannon University in a new, beneficial light starting next semester.

In past years, the Victor E. Knight costume – the university’s beloved mascot – has been sported by generous students with a surplus of school spirit. But starting this spring, those who make the cut will be rewarded with a scholarship for their hard work.

Gannon cheerleading coach Heather Turner said two scholarships will be available, with a starting point of $400 per semester for the students portraying the knight.

Turner said this amount may be just a start, however. “We may be willing to increase,” she said, “depending on how it goes at first.”

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Turner said there are some basic requirements for the mascot, such as height – which must be between 5 foot 7 inches and 6 foot 1 inch – and weight, which she said should be average, though admittedly didn’t know exactly what that means.

Additionally, she said, auditions will be held in order to ensure that the person inside the costume will be the right match.

Preparation, she said, is fairly simple. “How are you going to demonstrate that you have Gannon spirit?” she said. “That’s what we’re looking for at the audition.”

She said the student portraying Victor E. Knight must also be able to work and interact with children, as that is a big component of the job. Other than that, Turner said, the mascot’s basic role is to represent Gannon at different events, including sports – the knight will be present at all Gannon home games – Gannon-sponsored events in the Erie community, etc.

“Basically what the mascot does,” Turner said, “is represent Gannon with no words.”

Auditions will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1,  in the Carneval Athletic Pavilion. Turner said all Gannon students are welcome to audition, and they don’t need to bring anything with them.

Turner said the job as a mascot for Gannon isn’t any more time consuming than that of a cheerleader for the university. “Actually,” she said, “it’s less than a cheerleader because the mascots don’t have to practice.”

Nevertheless, Turner said she has felt strongly for quite some time that the mascot deserves a scholarship from the university.

Similarly, senior business administration major Olivia Colonello said she thinks the scholarship is a good idea. “More people will try out for the knight since they’re offering a scholarship,” she said.

According to Turner, more people is definitely a good start. She said students have expressed very little interest in portraying the mascot in past years. She is hoping the scholarship will provide an incentive for students to audition.

“It’s very hard to get somebody to be the mascot,” Turner said.

She said the idea for the scholarship was a result from collaborative discussions among the members of the Gannon Spirit Committee. “I’ve pushed it and pushed it,” she said, “and we finally got it.”

Turner said the process took a long time to put in action largely because of the recent changes in Gannon’s administration. “It was a lengthy process to get the scholarship approved,” she said. “With changes and restructuring, you have to go back and start all over with each new person,” she said.

Regardless, though, Turner said she is glad that the scholarship has finally come through.

Colonello also expressed appreciation for the scholarship, though she said portraying the knight is not something she is interested in doing.

“I think students will audition more when you offer scholarships,” she said. “It’s a good idea.”

 

KELLY MORELAND

[email protected]

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