BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 5/9/16
As part of ongoing efforts to re-brand and market Adams State University (ASU), the Executive Council is considering changing the official Adams State logo from the green mountain range to the grizzly paw, such as the current logo for the ASU Grizzlies, the official mascot for ASU Athletics.
According to the Executive Council meeting summary from February 1st, 2016:
“President McClure also informed Council that in an effort to unify the institution, discussions are ongoing with the Marketing Committee for a strategic process to adopt the “Grizzly Paw” as the official logo of the University.”
Previously known as the Adams State Indians, the Grizzly became the college’s official mascot in 1997 after decades of intermittent protest by groups on campus such as the Chicano movement. For more on this, listen to the Watching Adams podcast, Rogelio Briones – A Chicano Serving Institution?
But the current effort to “unify the institution” by adopting the Grizzly Paw as the official logo has furthered the widely-held existing perception that Adams State emphasizes athletics over other aspects of the campus. An ongoing Watching Adams poll has thus far had 89% of over 55 respondents answer “Does ASU place too much priority on athletics over academics?” with “yes, definitely” or “yes, sometimes.”
One former faculty observed, “the removal of the mountain range and replacing it with the athletics mascot signifies a shift in the university’s branding. The mountain range communicates a sense of place and cultural history, as a Hispanic Serving Institution should. Meanwhile, grizzly bears haven’t even been in southern Colorado for at least 100 years.”
Another former employee said, “It’s ironic that we celebrate the killing of the last grizzly bear in Colorado with its effigy outside the Rex Center. Is that the way ASU will go?” They went on to say, “I note that the Grizzly Paw is all over the new yoga studio (formerly a racquetball court). Not sure how the image of a giant bear paw clawing at the door is supposed to induce relaxation.”
A former employee also said, “the athletics mascot is now being considered as the institution’s official logo? I think this communicates to the campus that sports is a central aspect of the university’s identity.”
One ASU employee said of the proposed logo change, “It certainly sends a clear message: Admin will do anything for money!”