Mississippi College unveiled its new logo while highlighting the university’s connections and history with the Choctaw people during their homecoming football game.
Amid the drums and traditional dress, the college welcomed the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians (MBCI) to the Oct. 30 game and raised the tribe’s flag over the university’s Robinson-Hale stadium in Clinton. MC President Blake Thompson noted the game festivities were part of an ongoing effort to strengthen the relationship between the school and the tribe, reported ABC 15 (WAPT-TV).
“The chief and I have decided that the relationship between our two organizations is perhaps the most important thing that we could build,” Thompson said during the game.
Cyrus Ben, chief of the MBCI, emphasized, “On this campus, to be able to acknowledge us as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and embrace, that is just wonderful.
“They’ve done a great job of unveiling the new logo and also the mascot for Mississippi College and embracing what the tribe is and some of the applications that we utilize in our culture as well,” said Ben, who also is a former MC football alum.
The new logo is adorned with feathers modeled after those prominently displayed in the crowns of Choctaw Indian Princesses, the university reported. The feathers are offset by diamond shapes commonly found in handmade jewelry or woven baskets crafted by Choctaw artisans.
The new athletic logo will replace the MC logo that has been used for more than 100 years.
The university and MBCI also signed a memorandum in August highlighting their partnership and a $10,000 scholarship for all first-year students with the group who are taking on-campus classes.
Appealing to a new generation
The refreshed look, part of a new branding initiative at the 197-year-old Christian university, is intended to appeal to a new generation of students, noted Nick Stafford, director of marketing at MC.
“We’re growing and striving to reach the next generation,” he said Stafford. “We want to take strategic steps to reflect those changes that speak to that generation of students.”
The school saw homecoming weekend as the perfect opportunity to unveil the design changes as current and former faculty, staff, students, families and friends of the university gathered on campus. The new logo appeared on signs and banners on campus, T-shirts, tailgate tents, postcards, stickers and MC’s official website.
“They’re coming back to a place where, for many of them, core memories were made,” Stafford said. “It’s where they learned who they are; it’s where they made so many of their friends; it’s where many of them met their spouses.”
“We expect this branding initiative to be a long runway,” Stafford said. “It is one of many steps we are taking towards MC’s bicentennial, which will be a big celebration at the university.”
Mississippi College is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was compiled by The Baptist Paper, with reporting from Mississippi College.