It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s A Purple Bird of Prey!

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The MC Raptor came out with a swagger!

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In a cloud of fog under dimmed lights, Montgomery College unveiled its new mascot the Raptor. The ceremony was held at the MC gym on the Rockville campus. The stadium was packed with students, alumni, faculty and the press. The event was a part of day of celebration and fun around the MC campus. Activities included free barbecue and an appearance from radio station 99.5 djing the event before the unveiling. The Raptor made its debut to the school in style. Greg Enloe, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving said, “I think its great that this is a unification of the 3 campuses to 1 college. I think its a great opportunity for us to all remember this is one college all together. The process with alumni, students, faculty, and staff who participated and picked the colors and picked the actual mascot i think its a great opportunity for us all to come together.”

 The lead up to the ceremony started in the early afternoon with 99.5 setting up a booth where the station played music and signed up students for the Jingleball. The Jingleball is a concert at the end of the year sponsored by 99.5 featuring Miley Cyrus, Paramore, Robin Thicke, and many more. Multiple grills were set up to provide students with free food including pulled pork sandwiches and hotdogs. The powerhouse duo of free food and pop music attracted a significant portion of the student body and brought more attention to the ceremony later in the day. Marcus Rosano, Director of Media Relations said they used “Facebook, Twitter, the daily online newsletter, the front page of the website, and student email blasts. We did as many forms of communication and then we beat the street. We put out signs, we put little postcards on the tables, so we did our best and then we sent free food and that always works. And 99.5, that helps too.”

As early as an hour before the unveiling the gym began to fill up. Athletic Director Derek Carter said that “This has been something that has been anticipated for quite a while and now that we’re finally here, you can tell the excitement and I believe it will just be another mark of establishing pride among the students, faculty, and the staff and just taking another step to establishing Montgomery College.”

The ceremony began at 4:30 p.m. and included introductions from special guests including Hot 99.5 radio personality/DJ Dany and video recorded messages from MC alumni/former NBA player Jerome “Junkyard Dog” Williams and MC alumni/mascot designer Felepe Collazo.

The mascot was designed by MC alumni Felepe Collazo. He won the mascot design contest which had over 1,000 entries from students and alumni. For 10 weeks Felepe and the office of communications worked to refine the design and bring the raptor to life. Felepe could not be in attendance due to academic obligations but his mother came on his behalf.

Following a brief video message from Collazo, the MC sports teams were introduced to thunderous applause. The MC sports teams paraded in wielding honors they earned in their past seasons and throwing Raptor t-shirts into the stands causing an uproar of purple fever.

At 5 p.m. the court filled with fog as dub-step blasted through the speakers. The cloaked mascot made its way past the players and onto the court. As the music erupted the raptor tossed off the cloak revealing the bird of prey underneath. The crowd broke out in applause to the soundtrack of Prince’s “Baby I’m a Star”. The crowed roared with excitement and applauded as the raptor pumped up the crowd before moon walking to the side so the MC cheerleading squad could do their routine. Even then the raptor shined, adding to the choreography.

After the Raptor’s introduction, students were given a chance to meet and take pictures with the mascot as well as buy more MC apparel. In order to further involve the students and allow for more participation, the students are also able to help name the raptor. According to Director of Communications Elizabeth Homan, “we just haven’t worked out the details but we want to involve the students in naming the raptor now that they’ve seen it.” There will be a contest to determine the Raptor’s new name.

The event helped unite students from the three campuses under one symbol. A symbol that is fierce and determined and strikes fear into the hearts of its enemies. But even more than that, it gave the students, faculty, and alumni a chance to become more involved in the school. As best said by Rosano, “Everybody at Montgomery College whether you’re at Takoma Park or you’re at Germantown or you’re at Rockville, remember that we are all Montgomery College and that’s what were really trying to push tonight.”