LAKELAND, Fla., April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- On the final class day of its first academic year, Florida Polytechnic University has introduced the Phoenix as its official mascot. The concept was developed and voted on by students in the University's inaugural class.
The Phoenix, which derives from Greek mythology, is a long-living bird that is reborn again and again, rising from its ashes in a sign of regeneration and hope. The Florida Poly Phoenix is a symbol of renaissance and renewal, designed to inspire students and faculty to generate new ideas, continue a lifelong quest for learning, and rise to any challenge.
The Florida Poly Phoenix has a clean design, but is full of imagery. The head of the Phoenix is looking skyward, aiming for great heights. The wings are reminiscent of the louvers on the University's iconic Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) Building. On each wing, four feathers symbolize the four STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as well as four core values that are essential for advancing technology and engineering: Adaptability, Collaboration, Innovation and Leadership.
"Students made an excellent choice in the Phoenix to represent Florida Poly," said University President Dr. Randy K. Avent. "It is a stellar symbol of our spirit and culture, and it conveys that Florida Poly is a place of creativity, problem solving and purpose. Our Inaugural Class should take great pride in defining this part of our legacy, and I look forward to seeing how they and our incoming class continue to shape our campus and traditions."
Hundreds gathered in the IST Building Wednesday morning for the introduction of the University's mascot. Florida Poly unveiled the Phoenix via video to a crowd of cheering students and supporters who contributed to student scholarships and were on campus for the University's scholarship luncheon, which took place the same afternoon. School leaders also handed out Florida Poly Phoenix t-shirts, buttons and other items to celebrate the occasion and showcase their new symbol of school spirit.
"Selecting a mascot is a big moment for our University, and you can certainly feel the sense of excitement and school pride on campus," said Director of Student Affairs Dr. Steven S. Warner. "We're especially proud of the Phoenix because it was created and selected by our students."
Florida Poly kicked off the process to develop its mascot in January 2015. In the months that followed, 20 #NextGreatMascot Concept Teams, made up entirely of student volunteers, collaborated to develop and pitch mascot concepts, receiving expert advice and coaching along the way.
Driven by the University's mission of providing applied learning opportunities, these Concept Teams participated in a one-time, introductory "Design Thinking" course that immersed students in the constructs of problem definition, market research and creative production.
A selection committee narrowed down the concepts, and students voted in March for their favorite.
"The process of making the new mascot, it was an amazing experience," said Veronica Herrera Perez, a freshman who was on the team that developed the Phoenix concept. "The Phoenix represents rising from the ashes. Florida Poly, as the newest university in the state, rose from the ground up."
"I really wanted to find a way to incorporate the [Innovation, Science and Technology] Building, because up until now, that's kind of been our mascot," said freshman Jacob Livingston, who was on a team that pitched a different concept for the mascot. "When they showed the reveal video with the louvers going up and the wings rising, it was a perfect match."
About Florida Polytechnic University: Florida Polytechnic University is the state's 12th public university and the newest member of the State University System of Florida. Dedicated exclusively to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the University blends applied research with industry partnerships to give students an academically rigorous education with real-world relevance. The campus, located in Lakeland, Fla. along the I-4 High Tech Corridor, opened for classes on Aug. 25, 2014.
SOURCE Florida Polytechnic University