Sunday, June 22
Little George is no more.
After cheering on GW’s athletic teams for 20 years, the University put its aging mascot to rest this summer and introduced the modern and more aggressive “George” to incoming freshmen during the first Colonial Inauguration session.
“We want him to look intimidating, not old and creaky,” said Nicole Macchione-Early, Spirit Program director.
The new George sports a new tri-corner hat, a furrowed brow, and a confident, heated demeanor. His head and hair are made of felt, a stark contrast from Little George’s papier-m?ché casting. It is the first complete replacement in 20 years, though Little George received annual repainting and cleaning.
Macchione said the yearly renovation did little to improve the mascot once it was beyond repair.
“It was getting to the point where there was nothing else we could do,” Macchione said. “We had to say goodbye.”
George is one-third of GW’s mascot squad, which also includes Big George and the Hippo – both introduced in 2001. The three mascots often appear at the basketball games and other GW spirit events.
Macchione said the transformation was partially inspired by a blog post written by Rebecca Kelley at drivl.com, which listed “Little George” as one of the 25 worst NCAA Division I college mascots. Kelley compared it to a mascot from the TV show “Freaks and Geeks.”
“Both are unintentionally terrifying, with their gigantic heads and soulless eyes,” wrote Kelley. “While the Colonial isn’t sporting a spine-tingling grin, somehow his look of placid indifference is even scarier.”
Robert Chernak, senior vice president of Student and Academic Support Services, presented a slideshow of previous mascots during the kickoff of the second CI.
“That was one scary George,” Chernak said of the former mascot, which he compared to Estelle Getty from “The Golden Girls.” “He’s looking much better these days.”