Cedarville University is expressing school spirit in a big way. The Cedarville mascot, an unmistakably C-shaped yellow jacket, was recently painted on the water tower on campus.
It can be seen from the road just outside of Clifton by those who drive south on Ohio 72 to get to campus.
The paint job was finished July 20.
The yellow jacket has been a part of Cedarville University since they began playing intercollegiate sports around 1887 and to this day remains a rallying symbol for fans of the University’s 16 NCAA Division II varsity teams. However, in 2008 the university decided the Yellow Jacket needed a new look.
“The old yellow jacket was getting tired,” Cedarville University executive director of public relations Mark Weinstein said.
Weinstein said that aside from technical issues reproducing the image they wanted something that wasn’t the same “bee, hornet or wasp” employed by high schools and colleges around the country.
In 2008 the university hired Columbus-based design firm Slagle Designs to take on the task.
“One of the designers at this firm, Jeremy Slagle, happened to be the son of the men’s basketball coach. He grew up sketching ideas for a new mascot illustration, and he was finally given a chance,” said Chad Jackson, Cedarville University director of marketing.
The newly designed yellow jacket became the face of Cedarville sports in 2009-10 school year. It was also in 2010 that the university moved up from NAIA to NCAA Division II, which allowed them to compete at a higher level, bringing with it, more regional and national exposure.
Jackson said the $55,000 water tower project was part of an overall renovation that included cleaning and painting performed by H2O Towers of Saline, Mich., as well as the addition of the new graphic by DPI Graphics.
“We’ve wanted to get our new logos on the tower ever since we rebranded the university and athletic program back in 2009. Our president, Dr. Thomas White, communicated his desire to make the tower stand out and make a statement. He helped us make the decision on the final design. It breathes new life into our popular slogan ‘Back the Jackets,’ ” Jackson said.
Contact this contributing writer at Erica.Harrah@woh.rr.com.