For the third time in less than two decades, Ole Miss is embracing a new mascot.
MagnoliaStateLive.com obtained a letter from university president Dr. Jeff Vitter in which it was announced that Rebel the Bear, the current mascot, is being retired and will be replaced by the Landshark. The move comes a week after more than 80 percent of the school’s students voted in favor of the change.
The new Landshark mascot is expected to be unveiled before the start of the 2018-19 athletic seasons.
“Upon learning of the [Associated Student Body] poll of students, we sought input from the executive committees of the Ole Miss Alumni Association, the Staff Council, the Faculty Senate, and the Graduate Student Council, as well as from the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Spirit Squad head coaches,” a portion of the president’s letter read.
“In each case, the support for the Landshark mascot was unanimous. In addition, the past presidents of the Ole Miss Alumni Association and the boards of the Alumni Association and M-Club enthusiastically endorsed the action of the Alumni Association executive committee.”
Colonel Reb was officially retired as the university’s mascot in 2003. Seven years later, students voted for the Rebel Black Bear as the new mascot over other choices that included the Rebel Landshark.
And, for those who were wondering…
“I want to state unequivocally that we are — and always will be — the Ole Miss Rebels,” the president firmly stated, no doubt referencing some who would like to see a new nickname to go along with the new mascot.