UT Board of Regents Formally Approves the Ocelot as University’s New Mascot
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS – NOVEMBER 16, 2012 – The University of Texas System Board of Regents formally approved the ocelot as mascot for The University of Texas at Brownsville during a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15 at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler.
“Our new mascot is unique, represents our region and has already inspired pride in our students. We are pleased that the Regents have honored our students’ voice in recommending the ocelot as the official mascot of UT Brownsville,” said Dr. Juliet V. Garcia, President of UTB.
The ocelot’s prowl onto campus has been a multi-step process.
A Mascot Search Committee was formed in fall 2011 made up of students, faculty members and staff from the Division of Student Affairs and the Office of Student Life. The goal was to find a mascot that was representative of South Texas. The committee held open forums and solicited opinions through surveys which generated 400 mascot nominations. Through a series of votes, these were narrowed down to five finalists for which students cast their votes online.
On August 31, 2012, the winning mascot was announced as part of the Welcome Week activities. Momentum built as each of the runners up were revealed, and an enthusiastic cheer was heard over the UTB Drumline as the ocelot was revealed and orange and white confetti fell from above.
The students’ selection was then forwarded The UT System, where it was approved by Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Pedro Reyes and the Office of Trademark Licensing.
The endangered and protected ocelots live in portions of Texas, Mexico, South America and all of Central America. A good swimmer, the ocelot makes its home both sides of the Rio Grande River. It is estimated that as few as 100 live in the United States.
Adán Lozano, a sophomore communication major from Matamoros, said he was very pleased with the outcome.
“I voted for the ocelot; I think is it the best choice to represent the school,” Lozano said. “The ocelot is a beautiful wild cat that will defend its territory, and that is symbolic with how we students feel about our school.”