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Mascots: the History and Role of a Figurehead
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Mascots play a prominent role in American society, but where did they come from and what purpose or purposes do they serve? One may not realize it, but the mascot concept has been a part of human culture for perhaps thousands of years and is now simply in the modern form. Their role has shifted over time but they are still called upon to bring good fortune to their respective institutions, in this case colleges. They serve a vital purpose for marketing a school’s brand, both nationally and to the local community. Mascots are not simply cuddly creatures, and have met with their share of controversy. Through a survey of schools and a series of interviews as well as a review of the existing literature this thesis examines the history and rise of mascots to determine why they have taken up such an important place in college sports.