Date: Tue, May 7th, 2024

Public vote names Great Falls College's River Otter Mo

Mo, the River Otter

Great Falls College announced the name of its mascot after a monthlong campaign that saw hundreds of votes cast over several rounds.

“I’m super excited to announce that Mo is the winner,” said Scott Thompson, executive director of community relations, at the graduation ceremony Saturday at Montana ExpoPark’s Pacific Steel and Recycling Arena. “It should help us keep the up the Mo-mentum as we build our brand identity.”

The campaign started with a community-wide solicitation for names that garnered nearly 250 suggestions. Numerous people put Mo forward as a name.

When duplicate names and some that didn’t meet the school’s criteria were eliminated to get the list down to around 130 names, the college held a round of voting by a panel of students, staff and faculty and then a student-only vote to get the list of finalists down to a top 10 that turned into 14 with a five-way tie for ninth place.

The other finalists were: Brooks, Eddy, Gibson, Harry Otter, Huckleberry, Oliver, Ollie, Otto, Ozzie, Poppy, Rocky, Roe and Scout.

Mo scored a decisive victory with almost a third of the vote.

“We are really excited about this,” said Dr. Stephanie Erdmann, CEO/dean of Great Falls College. “We have been working hard on our brand identity and getting our name out there as Home of the River Otters. We get excited every time we see people out in the community with their Otter socks or an Otter T-shirt on. The community has really embraced the otter, and we’re now so excited our little friend has a name: Mo. And what a perfect name with the beautiful Mighty Mo running through town and sustaining this entire region.”

This process started in fall 2022 with an idea to bring a mascot to Great Falls College to solidify the college's brand identity.

The college received 590 suggestion for a mascot. 

After rounds of voting, River Otters emerged victorious in spring 2023, defeating fellow finalists Electric Elk and Wolverines.

In total, more than 3,000 people voted as part of the campaign.

Mo was announced to graduates at the commencement ceremony on May 4 and publicly announced May 6.

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Record Number: 834