NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts unveiled its new mascot, a mountain lion, between the Trailblazers' volleyball games against Mount Holyoke College in the Amsler Campus Center Gymnasium. on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The selection took months of planning from the college community. The search was mainly conducted online, and after a period of input the Mascot Search Committee eventually chose the mountain lion, based off the 1879 article in the North Adams Chronicle
that tells the story of farmer and naturalist Douglas Johnson's mountain lion sighting in the Berkshires.
"For the fan, the mountain lion has become part of Berkshire County legend and folklore," said Adam Hildabrand, the men's soccer coach and Mascot Search Committee chairman. "The mountain lion is another representation of a Trailblazer." A trailblazer, quite simply, is one who makes trails. The mountain lion is the animal that first blazed trails in the Berkshires. So, the mountain lion is number one, which is what we strive to be as a college and as an athletics department."
Although the mountain lion is believed to be extinct in Berkshire County by scientists and wildlife officials, some Berkshire County residents swear they have seen the cat.
Hildabrand said the time was right for the college to add the mascot to its Trailblazers name and logo.
"We have come a long way since 2002," he said. "We know who we are and what we want to be. By adding the mountain lion with our Trailblazers mountain logo, we will have a story and strong figure to represent who we are."