Date: Mon, Feb 6th, 2023

Great Falls College mascot will be River Otters following community vote

Great Falls College's mascot will be the River Otters after a community vote.

Great Falls College is pleased to announce its mascot will be the River Otters after a months-long process that began with a list of more than 500 suggestions.

“We are so excited to be the River Otters,” said Dr. Stephanie Erdmann, CEO/dean of the college. “River Otters are tough, feisty characters who persevere in sometimes harsh conditions to thrive. They also look out and care for one another, so we think they are the perfect representative of our amazing campus community. Plus, they are super cute.”

The River Otters were one of three finalists, along with Electric Elk and Wolverines.”

“Any of the final three would have been good representatives for Great Falls College,” Erdmann said. “It has been a fun and rewarding process.”

The River Otters and Electric Elk were in a dead heat for the early part of the week – voting kicked off Monday, Jan. 30 and concluded Sunday, Feb. 5, at 11:59 p.m. – before the River Otters pulled away. More than 2,300 people voted.

River Otters finished with 48 percent of the vote, Electric Elk finished with 42 and the Wolverines trailed with the remaining 10 percent.

The process of selecting a mascot for the college began last fall with campus and the community invited to submit ideas. More than 500 flooded in. That list was narrowed to about 125 names when a committee reviewed them against set criteria. From there, a large committee of students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community narrowed the choices down to a top 10. A campus vote resulted in the top 3 followed by last week’s vote that was open to anyone.

“We are your community college, so we wanted the entire community to have the opportunity to help us select our mascot,” said Scott Thompson, executive director of community relations. “We are pleased that so many cared enough to take the time to vote.”

There still is some work to be done before the community will see the River Otters.

“The next step in the process will be to continue to fine-tune the rendering now that we know the final choice so that it displays well in all applications, from apparel to large banners,” Thompson said. “Look for more on that soon.”

The process has resulted in some questions.

“No, we are not starting an athletics program,” Thompson said. “Choir director Cynthia Stevens and the Great Falls College Community Choir still will be the only team on campus. But the mascot will help us enhance brand identity, build community and school spirit and have some fun. And if Geico can have a Gecko, we can have a River Otter.”

⇦ Back to list page
Record Number: 807