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Great Falls College-MSU now has a mascot

Voting is underway to choose a mascot for Great Falls College-MSU
Great Falls College-MSU now has a mascot
Posted at 1:20 PM, Feb 06, 2023

Voting to choose a mascot for Great Falls College-MSU closed on Sunday, February 5, and the winner is: the River Otters.

More than 2,300 votes were cast, and River Otters finished with 48% of the vote, Electric Elk finished with 42%, and Wolverines garnered 10%.

Great Falls College-MSU vote: River Otters

Great Falls College-MSU CEO Stephanie Erdmann said in a news release, “We are so excited to be the River Otters. River Otters are tough, feisty characters who persevere in sometimes harsh conditions to thrive. They also look out and care for one another, so we think they are the perfect representative of our amazing campus community. Plus, they are super cute.”

In October of 2022 the college started the process of creating a mascot, soliciting suggestions from students and the community.

Among the suggestions were pronghorns, otters, wolverines, squirrels, bison, pelicans, and elk. Preliminary voting narrowed the final three choices to Electric Elk, River Otters, and Wolverines.

Great Falls College mascot suggestions

The purpose of the mascot is to help the college with marketing and branding.

"We want Great Falls College to have something that people easily identify with that really elevates the image of our college,” said Shannon Marr at the time; Marr is the recruitment and enrollment director for the school. "We've been asked by students for a long time about a mascot and it never really had any momentum behind it."

The process resulted in some questions, according to Scott Thompson, the school's director of communications and marketing.

“No, we are not starting an athletics program,” Thompson said. “Choir director Cynthia Stevens and the Great Falls College Community Choir still will be the only team on campus. But the mascot will help us enhance brand identity, build community and school spirit and have some fun. And if Geico can have a gecko, we can have a river otter.”

Erdmann said the brand identity the college is creating is important and she's glad to be helping lead the college into a new era: "It's important to have something to build school spirit, that provides enthusiasm and the ability to rally around something."

And contrary to what some people may have heard - yes, there are indeed river otters in Montana:

A Wilder View: A good time to see river otters in Montana