The new mascot for the Purdue University Northwest athletic program has been announced. Following unification of the Purdue University Calumet and Purdue University North Central campuses, the teams will be called "The Pride" and use a lion image.
The consolidation of Purdue North Central and Purdue Calumet athletics will be effective next fall and result in 13 teams competing for the unified program. The North Central and Calumet programs will finish out the 2015-2016 seasons under their current Panthers and Peregrines monikers.
Current PNC Director of Athletics Rick Costello, who will lead the Purdue Northwest program, says "this name reflects everything people affiliated with our campuses told us Purdue Northwest means to them: strength, respect, toughness, determination. I think these are characteristics not just of our teams, but of our student body and the Northwest Indiana region. Furthermore, our students and student-athletes said they wanted a unique mascot that is dignified, empowered and, last but certainly not least, conveys a winning image."
Officials say the uniforms and logos will be unveiled during a special ceremony once unification is official out of respect to the process.
A task force made up "largely" of students received feedback from focus groups and 3,000 survey respondents since February and ultimately selected "The Pride." Purdue Northwest will include around 15,000 students, which the schools say will make it the fifth largest institution in the state.