Mascot gets new name

 Welcome to JCCC, Jean Claude.

That’s the new name for the Cavalier mascot, as chosen by a poll that ran Oct. 8-10 on the college’s official Facebook page.

Poll participants had a choice of Johnny, Carl, Carlton, Calvin and Jean Claude, and Jean Claude came out on top.

"Bringing Jean Claude to JCCC was not an easy process, and we would like to thank everyone who had a part in bringing a face to the Cavaliers of Johnson County Community College," said the morning Facebook announcement. "Special thanks to the students that submitted their name ideas and voted for their favorite name this week. "

Jean Claude (who may or may not be rockin' the initials JC)  will have his own Twitter and Facebook pages, and he encourages all JCCC fans to follow him. The official JCCC Facebook and Twitter sites will replay some of the highlights of the mascot’s exploits as well.

Students, faculty and staff had a chance to meet the mascot at a special welcoming event Sept. 28. Tryouts for the human inside the suit were Oct. 2.

Jean Claude is a creation of Maydwell Mascots Inc. in Toronto, Ontario, which has made hundreds of mascots for high schools, colleges, universities and businesses.

A sneak peek of Maydwell’s online gallery reveals an amazing array of designs, from the iconic Titan to the populist Pauly D of “Jersey Shore” fame. The Cavalier can also claim as its cousin the walking cookie from Chips Ahoy!

The JCCC man is not the only Cavalier in Maydwell’s mascot world. Another Cavalier, sporting a red coat and brown facial hair, is part of the online gallery as well. (So we’re not the only ones, apparently…)

The idea for the mascot came with the college’s rebranding efforts. In early 2012, the college rejected the idea of replacing the Cavalier for a Bison nickname and mascot.

The Cavalier name, chosen by JCCC students by a popular vote in February 1983, beat out the other choices of Cyclones, Kansans, Bulldogs and Brown Bears.

Pam Vassar, assistant dean, student life, said, ““We are excited to have a strong icon to represent Johnson County Community College and are eager to make him visible and prominent both on campus and in our community.”