As the auditorium at Winston-Salem State University went dark Saturday, only the glow of cellphones illuminated the excited faces of fans as they awaited the unveiling of the school’s new mascot logo.
The band poured into the auditorium as the curtains swung open to thunderous applause, revealing the new Ram’s head logo.
With swirling red horns and a fierce expression on its face, the new logo was much-anticipated and met with widespread approval.
“This logo is epic,” the university’s athletics director, Tonia Walker, told the crowd of more than 1,000 people. “Everyone across the country will wish they were us.”
The former logo, which was originally designed for print, had not been updated since the mid-1990s.
The new logo was designed to accommodate both print and digital applications.
“Our athletics teams have been requesting a visual symbol that reflects that they are fierce competitors,” a statement from the university read. “The new mark draws on previous iterations of the Ram to create a more modern take that conveys courage, spirit, tenacity and pride.”
The previous logo was used exclusively by athletics, but the new logo will be used by departments across campus.
The new logo is more than a year in the works and is a product of the deliberations of the school’s branding committee, composed of students, staff, alumni, student-athletes, coaches and administrators.
“We have to go get the new shirts,” Kyndal Reid, 9, told her mother, Victoria Reid, excitedly after the unveiling. “I love the Ram and the colors.”
The reveal was preceded by a pep rally, where the cheerleading team performed and members of the fall sports teams were introduced.
The university will begin phasing out the old logo immediately, and people will begin seeing the logo Saturday on merchandise, signage and advertising.
As uniforms continue to be replaced, they will incorporate the new logo. Other big-ticket items will be replaced as funds permit.
“I love it. It’s more modern and more defined,” rising senior Victoria Reid said. “It makes me proud to be a Ram.”