Kent State Mascots Over the Years Stoke School Spirit

Return to Issue of Sept. 21, 2009

"Flash" Helps Celebrate 100 Years of School Spirit

School mascots changed over the years, and included fish, dogs and an eagle.

Dressed in blue and gold and showing school spirit with a smile, Kent State's mascot "Flash" has been a crowd pleaser since 1994. With his ongoing ability to excite crowds and promote athletic awareness, Flash has become part of the Kent State family. This good-humored golden eagle earned his place in our hearts after surpassing a series of Kent State mascots beginning in 1920.

John McGilvrey, first president of the university, established the first school mascot. McGilvrey raised silver foxes on his farm, so the athletic teams were called the silver foxes with — what else — a silver fox as the mascot in 1920. The silver fox reigned proudly for six years.

In 1926, a student entered a contest in hopes that his entry, "Golden Flashes," would become the new title for the Kent State community. His entry was selected, and all Kent State students thereafter became "Golden Flashes."

For a time, "Flasher," a golden retriever with a Kent State branded cape, was the Golden Flashes' mascot. He was followed in 1966 by a friendly cartoon character, "Grog." With hopes of getting back to school roots, the "Golden Flasher," a golden palomino horse with a rider attired in blue and gold, took over in 1972. The following year the name and figure changed to the "Golden Flash." This character was a masked figure holding fierce lightning bolts in each hand.

After the long series of changes, the golden eagle soared in to represent Kent State in 1985. A live eagle made appearances at many Kent State athletic events and came to symbolize school spirit and pride. Then in 1994, joining the live eagle was "Flash," the current mascot.

Flash can be seen at all major athletic events, supporting 100 years of school spirit.

By Erin Rinearson

Let's All Thank the Bluegill

Students, faculty and staff have fish to thank for making Kent State University a reality.

On Sept. 27, 1910, five state commissioners came to evaluate the 53-acre farm of William S. Kent, son of the town's namesake Marvin Kent, as the location for a northeastern Ohio normal college.

Everything that could go wrong did. The wires of communication got crossed, and the reception committee of the Kent Board of Trade was waiting at the wrong place to meet the state commissioners. When everyone finally reconnected, the committee members boasted about the magnificent view from the summit. Unfortunately, there was a dense fog, and the commissioners couldn't see anything.

The commissioners were supposed to be on their way to inspect another site in Ravenna, but the committee promised them a hot meal at the Merrill home in Twin Lakes, which was on the way to Ravenna. The commissioners enjoyed a leisurely lunch of fried chicken and bluegill, freshly plucked from the lake. After lunch, the hosts invited the commissioners onto the porch for cigars and cider and beguiled them with all the reasons Kent should be the site of the new school.

What is now known as the Bluegill Dinner allowed the new Normal School to be founded in Kent in 1910 and named after William S. Kent, who donated his farm to the school. In 1915, Kent State Normal School became Kent State College after it was authorized to issue Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees along with its Bachelor of Science in education degrees. It was granted university status in 1935 by Ohio Governor Martin L. Davey, a Kent native, and officially became known as Kent State University.

By Katelyn Luysterborg

For more information about Centennial traditions and events, visit the Web site.

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