By Maximillian C. Burgos and Heidi Cho
Sports Editor and Nation & World Editor
Two lions made their debut on Saturday, Oct. 21, during this year’s Homecoming celebration.
The College revealed the newly trained and re-designed Roscoe the Lion mascot, as well as the William M. McLagan bronze lion statue.
The new, more huggable Roscoe the Lion mascot made its debut during the halftime show of the Homecoming football game.
While dancing and gesturing to the crowd, Roscoe the Lion showed off his new look during the Homecoming festivities, after years of needing an update.
“The old costume would scare children,” said a junior member of the Roscoe mascot team. “It would even scare some people our age. It really needed to be replaced.”
The former Roscoe costume was retired with a hug by the new Roscoe and then was swiftly driven off the field in a golf cart, ushering in a new era of a more friendly-looking Roscoe.
The new Roscoe costume will be donned by one of four trained students at any given time, who met this past summer at mascot camp at the University of Delaware. The camp, while intense, served as a bonding experience for the new mascot team.
“Mascot camp was incredible,” said a male senior member of the team. “It was pretty sick. I was nervous heading into it because I know it was going to be at U-Del and their mascot, YoUDee, is like really popular. Also, the four of us had never done it before.”
A female sophomore member agreed.
“It was wild,” she said. “We had never met before. I didn’t really know their names. I had their emails, but I didn’t know their names.”
The Roscoe team members quickly connected with one another, and even won “most improved” out of the schools in attendance.
“We were kind of shoveled into it all,” the sophomore female member said. “It was sort of cool to get to know each other in this kind of way. It worked out in the end though because we all got along.”
The male senior member of the group echoed her thoughts.
“When we were doing this, it was all kind of like, this is actually happening,” he said. “We are actually going to mascot camp.”
At mascot camp, the group was trained to interact with crowds, put together skits and have the best possible in-person presence as the school mascot. All of the members of the Roscoe team want the character to have a larger on-campus presence.
“We are trying to revive Roscoe here,” one male junior member said. “For us juniors, we never really saw Roscoe. We really just want more school spirit at the end of the day. We want people to be excited when they see Roscoe. If you ever see the mascot for the University of Delaware, people go crazy when they see him. Adults and kids all love him. He’s a big thing. We really want Roscoe to be more like that.”
The four students will rotate as Roscoe as the year progresses. With stellar dance moves and choreographed mascot antics, they are eager to bring more school spirit to campus.
Any club can request Roscoe to attend their events and the team is very excited for every opportunity to don their suit after Homecoming.
The brand new bronze statue was the other lion to greet students and alumni at this year’s Homecoming.
Named after its sole donor, alumnus Bill McLagan (‘87), the statue was revealed at the entrance to Lions Stadium prior to the Homecoming game.
While planning the statue’s design took McLagan and College administrators six years, the majority of the process has occurred within the past six months. The entire process cost between $68,000 and $70,000, according to McLagan.
When McLagan was a student, the school was still called Trenton State College and the lion statue outside Roscoe West was new.
It has been a personal goal of McLagan’s to give back to the College. His wish to donate a lion statue was fulfilled 30 years after his own graduation in a series of fortunate coincidences.
The William M. McLagan Lion was manufactured at the world-class foundry Art Castings of Colorado. Sculpted by Herb Mignery, the maquette has a very realistic style and pose, according to McLagan who was impressed with the final product.
Revealing the statue at Homecoming was made possible through one vital meeting McLagan had with John Kinkade, the executive director of the National Sculptors Guild. Kinkade had to personally call and beg Mignery to come out of retirement to sculpt the piece.
The commission process was successfully expedited three to four months faster so that the statute could be ready for Homecoming, according to Kinkade.
McLagan “couldn’t be happier” to see the final outcome and to stand next to the statue on Homecoming day.
The statue will be stored away in the winter, according to the College’s spokesman Dave Muha. The statue’s permanent home between the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building and the Brower Student Center will be constructed in the meantime. The permanent home will likely include benches, landscaping and a stone pedestal.
The statue will be permanently mounted sometime in the spring, according to the College’s Major Gifts Officer Guy Calcerano.
Lions young and old alike came together this Homecoming to show how much the College means to them. The heart and enthusiasm behind the new statue and mascot shone through this Saturday.