Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 6, 2018

Connecting to Our Roots: Manchester University's New Look

Kaity Collins 

The Manchester University Spartans are in for a new look coming the 2019 January Session. The black and gold school colors will be stripped away and replaced with a new, more environmentally appealing set of colors: acorn brown and leaf green. Another big change for Manchester is the transition of the mascot into a squirrel rather than the old-fashioned Spartan.

A new reputation and representation are in the making with the earthy new campus colors. “Branding at Manchester is huge,” said President David McFadden. “We want school colors to reflect our beautiful campus.”

The switch is supported by both the Athletic and Art Departments, and each field is confident in the university’s decision to turn a new leaf for the benefit of everyone at Manchester. “It’s a different look,” said Mark Adkins, Sports Information Director. “There’s lots of support, which means a lot to the Manchester community.”

The Art Department agrees. “I do work with the colors a lot,” said Jeffrey Diesburg, associate professor of art. “I like the idea of connecting to the oak trees.”

“I think that is an excellent idea,” said senior Tristan Barley. “It’s about time we went back to our roots and embraced our oak heritage. It’s what we were always meant to be.”

“Brown and green go really well with campus buildings,” Diesburg said. “We can do something fun with it.”

New colors mean new sports uniforms in addition to the fresh theme around campus. However, compliments and full satisfaction were the only reaction to this reality.

McFadden saw an unusual advantage in the new color scheme within sports. “I think people will make fun of us,” he said. “But it will make good bulletin board material for coaches to rally their teams.”

Adkins agreed. “There’d be some that would poke fun,” he said. “But success on the court and field will speak for itself.”

To complement the university’s new natural-themed color palette, Manchester will introduce a new, better-suited mascot as well. The old deep black and victorious gold were a good match for the “Spartans,” but acorn brown and leaf green are more representative of oak trees than a warrior. So what will be the new mascot?

After much debate amongst faculty and staff, the decision was finally reached last month, and Administration is excited to reveal the information for the first time… The new mascot is the squirrel! Say goodbye to Manny, as his beautiful Spartan head will soon be shelved in a dark storage room somewhere and never heard of again.

“Marketing suggested a squirrel,” McFadden said. “A brown squirrel, too; no black squirrels because they’re more aggressive.”

Adkins approves of the change. “The squirrel is a natural choice,” he said. “It fits our environmentally friendly campus.”

Diesburg appreciated the opportunity to bring what he called “consistency” to the campus. “It could maybe give us a more tree or leafy look,” he said.

Senior environmental studies major Eric Jagger anticipates the new theme as a future alum who enjoys the connection to nature. “I think the earthy color palette really reflects our environmentally friendly values,” he stated. “The black and gold combination was just too pompous and exotic. Acorn brown and leaf green are just more realistic.”

The new theme was also developed to support Manchester values and ties to the past. “The squirrel lets us keep connections to the church, historically, rather than a warrior,” McFadden said. “A sidekick to Spartacus is the squirrel.”

This refreshing look also has a fiscally beneficial side. “It will, number one: help us increase sales in the Campus Store,” McFadden said. “And number two: because green and brown are cheaper to print, it will result in cost savings.” Though the university may be losing money due to all of the now useless black and gold paraphernalia, the new earthy aesthetic is far worth it.

Barley is anxious to see the nature-esque changes bleed into residential life, as well. “I think the next natural step would be to make our dorms into tree houses in Tall Oaks,” he said. “I sincerely hope the school will take this step into improving our campus.”

Even with all the approval and support for the color and mascot switch, Manchester University hasn’t forgotten that some adjustments will need to be made in order to successfully keep the seed of school pride firmly planted in each and every one of the students. “The colors fit the fight song,” McFadden pointed out. “Black and gold to brown and green; we’ve given it a lot of thought.”

Adkins thought so, as well. “It will take some getting used to, just like the black and gold,” Adkins said reassuringly. “But as long as we keep Manchester’s mission statement intact, I think we’ll learn to accept it; change is a constant of life.”

“Rest in peace, Manny,” added Barley. “We’ll miss your Spartan charm, but your time here is over.”