IUPUI in search of mascot for IU Indianapolis

With IUPUI transitioning to IUI, the hunt for a mascot is on.

<p>Photo by Steve Martin</p>

Photo by Steve Martin

IUPUI will be no more once the 2024 fall semester hits. IU and Purdue will be splitting from the campus which IU owns. This was first announced on Aug. 12, 2022, by IU president Pamela Whitten and Purdue president Mitch Daniels after a 9-0 unanimous vote was delivered in Bloomington. This will cause a rebrand in the school which could be the potential end of the Jaguars.

“This decision is more than a rebrand, it is actually a separation of ways,” David Pierce, host of the IUI event said. “What led to it is that what’s left for Indiana University in Indianapolis has to have a new name and downstream from that is the Athletic Department.”

IUPUI was first opened in 1969 and has rebranded more than once. In 1972 the school was originally called the Metros, and after the expansion of volleyball, softball, and women’s basketball the school would join the NAIA in 1978. It would not be until 1993 when the school would move into Division II and a few years later in 1997 would become a Division I school. The Jaguar mascot came into the picture after IUPUI’s move-up and joined the Summit League. IUPUI remained in the Summit League until 2017 when IUPUI transferred into the Horizon League. 

“People have been talking, but from a top-level leadership, the desire is to stay as the Jaguars,” Pierce said. “We are telling students that the name will stay as the jaguars, but we are thinking of nostalgia gear around the metros even though it will not be our official name.”

The Jaguar has been a staple for IUPUI with not one but two mascots, with Jinx, Jazzy, and Jaws for the men and women’s teams respectively. Now with the new change will come a new mascot and there has not been too much to come out about what the new mascot could be. 

“The increasing trend of the city uniform, Northwestern has come out with a whole line of gear for the city of Chicago, now IU Indianapolis can have some imagery with the city of Indianapolis with a jersey representation,” Pierce said. 

The weekend of Jan. 27 and 28 hosts a meeting to figure out what the future holds for this university. IUPUI has recently struggled with recruiting, funding, and becoming a huge research university. The Republic mentions that IUPUI is currently ranked at 196 for test scores, graduation rates, and even faculty resources, which is a lot lower than Purdue, IU, and Notre Dame. This rebrand could open new opportunities for the school and get those numbers up for upcoming generations. This will happen because IUI will be more focused on the students and increasing test scores, especially graduation rates, by opening up more funding from IU. 

“People will work for 24 hours creating different spirit marks, and applying them to merchandising, uniform and court design, as well as large signage in the venues,” Pierce said.

The event is free and lasts two days, with a set schedule of activities. It will take place at the NIFS Building on campus. The day will start with a check-in and eating pizza; throughout the day there will be tours and group check-ins around campus. The branding and sports experts will be talking and giving their opinions about what they know moving forward. They will be discussing new marketing strategies for the new school and campus, as well as deciding if the Jaguars are staying and if there are any other big changes that must be made on campus. On Jan. 28 there will be a presentation for over an hour to deliver their pitches in PE 161.

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