Northeast Ohio Medical University named its first-ever mascot Wednesday. "Nate" - the walking whale.
He was welcomed by several familiar mascots including Zippy from the University of Akron, Kent State University's Flash and Magnus, the mascot for Cleveland State University. (Photo courtesy of Northeast Ohio Medical University.)
There were more than 100 ideas for the university's first-ever mascot, including the Rising Phoenix which was near the top of the list.
It's a perfect fit for the university because officials say the now-extinct creature that could swim and walk was discovered in Pakistan by a NEOMED scientist.
(Press Release) Who says you have to have a sports team to have spirit? Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), a health sciences university that may be one of the only public universities in the nation without athletics, introduced “Nate,” the Walking Whale, as its first-ever mascot during an all-campus picnic on Wednesday, May 8. Nate was greeted by more than 300 faculty, staff and students, as well as mascots from neighboring universities.
“There is so much enthusiasm, camaraderie and spirit on this campus, and the Walking Whale is a perfect embodiment of that,” said Jay A. Gershen, D.D.S., Ph.D., president of NEOMED. “We focus on scientific and medical research, training the nation’s future physicians, pharmacists and health researchers, and improving the quality of health care in our communities—and we feel all of those initiatives are symbolized in an official University mascot that encompasses our history and represents where we’re headed in the future.”
For his first appearance, Nate was greeted by area mascots including: Flash (Kent State University), Zippy (The University of Akron) and Magnus (Cleveland State University).
The Walking Whale mascot will make regular appearances on campus and will help roll out the University’s 40th anniversary celebration and the unveiling of the new campus expansion projects, including the University’s first-ever residential housing village; health, wellness and medical education complex, medical office buildings, and more.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE WALKING WHALE
The Walking Whale is better known as Ambulocetus natans, an early cetacean that could walk as well as swim. It is the only species classified under the genus Ambulocetus and is a transitional fossil that shows how whales evolved from land-living mammals. It was discovered in Pakistan in 1993 by NEOMED scientist Dr. Hans Thewissen. The mascot represents the great scientific discoveries made at the University, and in the fields of medicine and pharmacy, and helps NEOMED stand out as a center of academic innovation and discovery. The Walking Whale also represents NEOMED's impact on not only our own community, but also the world community. While Walking Whales no longer exist, they have evolved into some of the most elegant and majestic creatures that this world has seen. And no matter what trials, tribulations or successes have arisen, the Walking Whale serves as a reminder that there are always great things lying ahead.
THE MASCOT CONTEST
University constituents were asked to brainstorm ideas for an official mascot they felt embodied the characteristics of the University most important to them. More than 100 ideas were submitted, and a committee of faculty, staff and students selected four candidates which were narrowed down to two (Walking Whale and the Rising Phoenix) though a 'primary' vote by students, faculty, staff, alumni and retirees. The two top finalists then went head to head in an important campaign, complete with public debates.
To learn more about the mascot contest, visit www.neomed.edu/mascot.
Northeast Ohio Medical University is a community-based, public medical university with a mission to improve the quality of health care in Northeast Ohio working in collaboration with its educational and clinical partners. With a focus on scientific and medical research, and the interprofessional training of health professionals that is unique to the state of Ohio, the University offers a doctor of medicine (M.D.) and a doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, in addition to graduate-level coursework and research opportunities leading to master’s and doctoral degrees in other medical areas. Northeast Ohio Medical University is a founding member of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. Visit www.neomed.edu.