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Photo courtesy of Gordon State College.
Gordon State Welcomes New Spirit Mark; Stag Embraces College History, Future Aspirations

BARNESVILLE - Mascots play an important role in an institution’s identity and have been known to change over time. As Gordon State College continues its story, a new ambassador and spirit mark were revealed Wednesday during the college’s Student Success Summit.

The primary GSC spirit mark logo includes a stag head with the Gordon State Highlanders wordmark and is symbolic of the institution’s history, steadfast reputation for excellence, inclusion and commitment. The circle G logo will be used for the academic face of the college.

Gordon’s full name and mascots may have changed over the years, but the institution’s characteristics and diverse culture have not changed. Before the 1980s, the athletic teams at Gordon were the Bulldogs. Through the mid-1980s, Gordon’s teams were known as the Generals and the Wolves. The teams became the Highlanders in 1995.

The incorporation of the stag head into the new spirit mark is symbolic of the badge worn by the Gordon Highlanders, who were a line infantry regiment of the British Army that existed for 113 years after two Scottish Regiments merged in 1881. A crest with a stag and the motto “Bydand,” which means “Stand and Fight,” was also a featured part of the badge.

“Gordon State College’s heritage continues to shine brightly as it maintains a strong connection to the past,” said President Kirk A Nooks. “Our new spirit mark and mascot will serve as a visual symbol of strength and pride for our college for many years to come.”

A series of informational meetings were conducted with the college community, including students, student athletes, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees and stakeholders with artist John Hartwell of Hartwell Studio Works in Atlanta to determine the need for the updated spirit mark.

The new spirit mark and mascot will represent Highlander Nation irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity or background.

Since May the college created a series of five videos to introduce the mascot, including a contest with each episode naming a winner for participant guesses. The overall winner will receive a basket of promotional items with the new spirit mark along and episode contest winners will receive a gift bag with spirit mark items.

The college has delegated the responsibility for all Gordon State College Spirit Mark related items to the GSC Marketing Department. The GSC Spirit Mark brand consists of the stag logo, stag mascot, the claymore, GSC ligature and all related graphic elements including the tartan plaid pattern. The Gordon tartan, a plaid combination of blue, green and gold, was worn by the Scottish regiment, which also carried a claymore (a sword at the center of the Gordon brand) conveying strength and ferocity. Never underestimate a Highlander.

The spirit mark represents Highlander Nation’s strength of character through grit, perseverance, determination, pride, loyalty, honor and excellence. The Harry the Highlander mascot may be reserved for special appearances such as Alumni Weekend.

Submitted 8.5.20