Platypus Mascot: A Plymouth State April Fool’s Day

Yesterday (April Fool’s Day) I had a little fun and launched a prank on the entire Campus Community of Plymouth State University. The prank? PSU’s portal received a makeover in order to announce a change of the campus’ Mascot from Panther to noble Platypus due to trademark issues.  Results?  Awesome.

Before our users logged in, they were met with a happy Platypus:

A groovy platypus login

A groovy platypus login

Once logged in, the users’ eyes were attacked by custom header complete with Platypus and sun flare that read: “Announcing the new Plymouth State mascot!”

Announcing the new Plymouth State Mascot!

Announcing the new Plymouth State Mascot!

Oh, but it didn’t stop there. You can’t just change a campus’ mascot without some explanation, so forced into the top right of everyone’s layout was a nice portal channel to detail the mascot change.  It read as follows:

Plymouth State has been proud to display the Panther as the University Mascot for many years but effective June 1st, 2009 the Panther will be retired.

Why the new Mascot?

Due to recent trademark disputes, PSU has been asked to select a new symbol for the University. While the change may come as a shock to some, change is a great thing! The adoption of the new mascot is a refreshing and invigorating change that we hope will inspire the campus as the Panther does.

The selection process for the new mascot was a lengthy one where we reviewed over 75 animals that were submitted by the campus community in the recent poll sent out to all students! The top contenders were: Newt, Badger, Elk, Moose, Platypus and Narwhal.

After much discussion, we are excited to announce that the Noble Platypus will be the new mascot!

Why the Platypus?
platypusThere are many attributes of the Platypus that resonate well with Plymouth State ideals. The following were the deciding factors:

  1. Mammal: As we planned the transition from the Panther to the new mascot, the desire that the new animal remain mammalian in nature rang clear with the selection committee. The Platypus fits the bill! (Yes, that was a pun)
  2. Versatile: The Platypus is an extremely versatile mammal which represents Plymouth State’s versatility in it’s educational, athletic, and extra-curricular programs.
  3. Egg Laying Semi-Aquatic Monotreme: The fact that the Platypus is the only semi-aquatic monotreme that lays eggs truly makes it unique. Uniqueness is an attribute in our students that we prize greatly and believe each and every one of you stand out from the crowd.
  4. Venomous: Venom in ankle spurs. This is just an extra bonus.

A change like this cannot be complete without gauging user opinions, so a poll was put together that received almost 1200 votes in 24 hours!

myPlymouth April Fools Day Poll

myPlymouth April Fool's Day Poll

Various end offices received a number of calls from end users ranging from excitement that PSU played an April Fool’s Day prank to frustration that we were switching away from the Panther (those people obviously didn’t know it was the 1st). All in all, I would consider this a successful holiday!

Now…what should I do next year?