Dear Editor: Student calls for new mascot

Coming to Henderson or starting school here, everyone is told of the “Reddie Spirit,” which is “mascot” of Henderson. It is not our motion to “change,” but to add on to this Henderson tradition of the “Reddie Spirit.”

Most people know the story of the birth of our “Reddie Spirit,” which can be found on the undergraduate catalog 2010-2012:

Henderson athletic teams were known simply as the “red and gray” until a campus contest in 1906 chose the name “red jackets,” which was descriptive of their bright red jackets and socks. The student newspaper quickly adopted the nickname the “Reddies,” which became the most frequently used title for the team.

Generations of students have been steadfast in the thought that no mere mascot could symbolize the Henderson “do or die” spirit. It is the unconquerable spirit when they vowed to stay together and rebuild the schools after a devastating fire in 1914. That spirit which ultimately triumphs over insurmountable obstacles is known as the Reddie Spirit, and all students and alumni are now celebrated as Reddies.

We feel that the “Reddie Spirit” can now finally be properly represented. Most people on campus have heard about or have seen the red-tailed hawk that flies high about the Henderson skies. Throughout history the hawk has represented a guide or teacher to greatness or true potential. It also represents the importance of always keeping your eyes open to good and bad opportunities. The ancient Egyptians saw the hawk as a sign of war. So what can represent the Henderson’s “do-or-die” spirit? It can only be the Red-tailed hawk: “RedHawks.”

So let it be known that the spirit of Henderson lives! Every time we point our fingers to the “Reddie Spirit” while singing “B flat to G” we are pointing up to our brothers in the sky.

The red-tailed hawk. And as the “RedHawk” soars above the Henderson skies embodying the “Reddie Spirit,” we are reminded of the fierce, opportunistic, cunning and most of all noble spirit that powers our university. We are the Henderson State University RedHawks. “The Spirit in the Sky.”

I believe the most important reason for this change is to promote the “Reddie Spirit” and draw people in to the idea of being actively involved in things as big as changing, correcting and enhancing age-old traditions and beliefs that we grew up on. Or even bring about something entirely new and original. Just get out there, do your part, tell us your ideas; nothing is stupid. This isn’t just about a mascot.

It’s about igniting the fire of our imaginations, passion for change and love of curiosity. As a generation destined to take the wheel of the world in the near future, we must always be as the red-tailed hawk and keep our eyes open to good and bad opportunities, be fierce and cunning and most importantly, be noble.

Submitted by Michael Robledo, a sophomore political science major.