The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

October 1, 2012

MSSU to unveil new mascot name, costume

As part of Missouri Southern State University’s 75th anniversary celebration, the school’s mascot will get a new look and perhaps a new name.

Potential names for the lion are Roary, Lenny, Leo and Luke, with the current name, Larry, also in the running. Before it was Larry, the mascot was known as Joe Juco, in honor of Joplin Junior College.

Roary is a name that was recommended by fans on Southern’s Facebook page.

“It’s a good opportunity for us, during the 75th anniversary of the university, to roll out a new mascot with a new name. It will be a fresh look,” said Aaron Lewis, assistant athletic director of marketing and corporate sales. He is overseeing the mascot project.

Voting, which has been going on for a couple of weeks, ends Thursday. The votes are counted on the MSSU athletics Web page at, which also is where people can go to vote.

On Monday afternoon, with nearly 390 votes cast, Leo was leading with 43 percent of all votes, followed by Roary. Luke was the least popular choice, with 5 percent of the votes. Larry had 9 percent.

The new costume and name will debut Friday at the homecoming picnic, and will be at the homecoming parade and football game on Saturday.

“The current look of the costume needed to be updated, and we also wanted something that could stay cool for whoever was wearing it,” Lewis said.

Johnny Boyer, a junior at MSSU, said he likes the idea of revamping the lion. “I think it fits really well with the 75th anniversary,” he said. “I like the name Roary best.”

Jarrod Pace, a 2012 Southern graduate, said he favors the name Lenny.

While some welcome the change, others favor preserving tradition.

“Changing the mascot’s name, to me, is unnecessary,” said Caravana Randall, a freshman. “We’d be losing a valuable piece of MSSU history. Why should we change something that’s not broken?”

“I would keep the name the same to preserve the traditions of MSSU,” said William Delehanty, an assistant professor of political science. “Changing the name of our mascot has the potential to alter our collegiate identity, and I think keeping our name the same helps to also preserve what it means to engage in athletic competition at MSSU.”

Kristen Livingston, assistant professor of communications, said she likes the name Larry best.

“However, whatever name the beloved lion receives will be welcomed,” she said.

The university is encouraging people to cast their votes before Thursday.

“Students can take ownership in this process and help name the future mascot for Missouri Southern,” Lewis said. “This mascot serves as a representation of all things Missouri Southern, and reflects the enthusiasm that students, faculty and staff have for their institution.”

Cooling vest

THE NEW COSTUME for the Missouri Southern State University mascot will contain a cooling vest designed to keep the wearer comfortable. The costume was created by Street Characters for $8,000, according to Aaron Lewis, assistant athletic director of marketing and corporate sales.

Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos