The moment so many have been waiting for finally came to pass on March 22nd of 2016. Athletes and faculty from Purdue’s North Central and Calumet campuses came together as one to introduce their new identity, new vision, and new mascot. They will now build their reputation as a pack of Lions nicknamed “The Pride.”
“This,” said Chancellor-Designate Thomas Keon, “Is the culmination of two years’ hard work: to become Purdue North West. In particular, a number of people have worked on the new logo.”
After an extensive process that involved thousands of Purdue community members, several focus groups, and a school wide survey, the new University chose a mascot that best represented not just each student on a personal basis, but the merger as a whole.
“This Lion’s Pride is really a big family. It indicates a pulling together of two sister campuses.”
Associate Athletic Director Tom Albano agreed that the new image was a natural fit. “The identity came to life today,” he said, “The bold image of the Lion perfectly describes [the students, staff, faculty, and alumni]. It shows a tough and determined group of people.”
The two athletic departments will continue to compete against each other until the unification becomes official in July 2016. With everyone eager to adopt the other school, it has been easy and exciting to begin the rebranding marketing. The unveiling showed new t-shirts, ball caps, and banners for members of the new University to wear with Pride.
Chancellor James Dworkin said “Some people say the third time's the charm. When we first got here, [my wife and I], we were the centaurs. We became panthers in 2001. So this is the third time and we are very excited about it. As we move forward and become North West we can take great pride in that we have a new mascot.”
Student basketball player and Social Work major Clarence Heath represented his team by saying, “This is a great thing happening today. Pride represents the achievements of both students that are unifying into one. Together we are now one team: the Pride.”
Rick Costello, the University's Athletic Director-Designate, agreed that, “We are celebrating amazing athletic and academic accomplishments every day.”
The collaboration that went into choosing a new nickname, new mascot, and new identity brought the students and staff together and gave them a bond that could be forged no other way. They wanted a new image so that they could be reborn, as one. They are not schools spliced together but an entity to be reckoned with; a University that knows the meaning of unity and takes care of its own.
The merger itself explains the reason behind the new Pride, in the words of Chancellor Keon: “We were making sure Purdue could be in a position to identify where the biggest needs were, and then fill those needs.”