After More Than a Century Without One, Hood College Has a Mascot
(April 2005)--Hood's new thoroughbred mascot and mascot logo were inspired by history, tradition and symbolism. Input and suggestions from students, faculty, alumnae and alumni, staff and community members along with recognition of the College's long history with equestrianism and Maryland's ties to horses, were influences in the selection of the mascot.
Three students and an alumna separately provided winning suggestions, and each will receive the $100 prize. They are alumna Michelle Bodamer Nicol '84, junior Jenna Starr and sophomores Markwood Mackenzie and Marie Caron. "Hood's newest symbol not only honors its past, but it also evokes dignity, grace, strength and pride-attributes that will certainly resonate with everyone associated with or who knows Hood College," said President Ronald J. Volpe.
Within weeks after the mascot contest was announced in November, more than 130 concepts, drawings, ideas and even a stuffed animal were submitted to the Office of Marketing and Communications. Suggestions included graphical depictions of owls, squirrels, a heron, a seal, dragons, bees, human figures, balls of fire, leprechauns and lions; and names such as Dinky, Blazer the Fire Cat, Buzz the Blue Jacket, Whoosh, Blaze, Barnabus Blazer, Mercury and Wrinkle-free.
The name of the Hood athletics teams will remain the "Blazers." The mascot logo design was developed by Ruth Bielobocky of Ion Design, in conjunction with Hood College Art Director Joann Lee. Frederick-based Ion Design is an award-winning graphic design firm that specializes in corporate logos and branding.
In producing the concepts and the final design of the mascot logo, Bielobocky incorporated elements of the College's current logos. She also considered the school's colors and how the mascot logo would be used. The mascot logo includes the graphical depiction of a thoroughbred's head, including a flowing windswept mane. On its head is a white streak, which on a horse is called a "blaze." In making her suggestion that Hood's mascot be a horse, Starr pointed out this nuance.
"We were thrilled and honored to be chosen to create the mascot logo," said Bielobocky. "Our challenge was to create a symbol that would be elegant but also powerful. To stylize the horse, we focused on the blaze, the feature that we believe is what really makes the design timeless and truly unique."
The mascot logo is incorporated in publications and on the College's website, on apparel, sports uniforms and other items that would be typically found in the College bookstore.
On Aug. 23, 2010, Hood College debuted its first-ever mascot costume at the annual convocation ceremony in the Hodson Amphitheater. The mascot, named "Blaze", will make appearances at athletic, campus and community events.
Click here for a video of Blaze's first appearance on campus.
Click here to meet Freek van den Beukel, one of the creators of Blaze's costume.