Newman University officials announced today that the university’s sports teams will be known, effective immediately, as the “Camels” rather than the “Jets.”
“This was obviously a difficult decision to make,” said Director of Communications Kelly Snedden. “People have come to know and love the ‘Jets.’ At the same time, we thought, ‘A Jet? Really?’ Jets are so cold and lifeless. Now camels; camels are full of energy and vitality, much like the students here at Newman. So it was a natural fit.”
The camel was chosen as the mascot for a variety of reasons. The committee that decided, made up of various personnel representing a wide swath of Newman faculty, staff and students, wanted a mascot that stood out from other schools’ mascots.
Committee members noted that the camel was selected not only because of its uniqueness, but also because of its rich symbolism. “The two humps represent the two words that tell you what kind of school Newman is, ‘liberal’ and ‘arts.’ It’s a liberal arts college,” said student and committee member Nick Veith. “Camels also spit, which symbolizes the impressive rate at which Newman spits out well-rounded, successful graduates. In the Middle East you can also buy a camel relatively cheaply in spite of the tremendous use and value you can get out of the animal, representing how at Newman you can get a great education at an affordable price.”
For some, the announcement came as a real shock. “I don’t like it at all,” said Newman Web Coordinator Eric Leitzel. “Jets have a deep connection with Wichita being the ‘Air Capitol of the World’ and with the aircraft industry here. What connection do camels have?”
Plenty, Snedden said. Ever since a Newman student briefly made away with a camel from an animal handler at a Renaissance Fair on the Newman campus, the university has had a special affinity for this beast of burden. Read more about the heist at Freethecamels.com. Student-produced videos reenacting the fun and pranks of a number of stories from that Web site are currently in development.
Snedden, Leitzel, Veith, Director of Editorial Services Ken Arnold, Webmaster Charles Rasico, Senior Graphic Designer Darrel Voth and others in the Institutional Advancement office added: