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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Buff, smiling Rhody huge hit: New-look mascot greeted with rousing ovation

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. – Feb. 25, 2009 – With treatment usually reserved for rock stars and pro athletes, University of Rhode Island fans welcomed their newest Rhody the Ram tonight with music blaring and wild cheering at the Ryan Center.

“What a spirited, exciting night it is here at the Ryan Center, with the men’s basketball team playing a great Dayton team, the Pink Out event to raise money for the battle against breast cancer and Rhody parading around enthusiastically,” said Robert Beagle, URI vice president for Advancement. “We knew the halftime festivities featuring our new, smiling, more muscular Rhody would generate a great deal of enthusiasm. Everyone at URI should be proud of our spirited students who helped raise money for a great charity and our Runnin’ Rams men’s basketball players, all of whom are embodied in our new mascot.”

Tonight’s unveiling of a new Rhody culminates work that began last summer by a committee made up of representatives from the Division of Advancement, the Department of Athletics and alumni. The committee worked with Maydwell Mascots of Toronto, Canada to come up with the new design and two new costumes.

“The hard work has really paid off,” said Brittany Manseau, program assistant for URI Alumni Relations and chair of the Rhody committee. “You can tell by the reactions of our great crowd that they think our new Rhody is perfect. Again, we were trying for a more athletic look, but also one that would be warm and welcoming to children.”

Before Rhody took the Ryan Center floor, fans were treated to a video developed by Cox Sports. The two big video boards showed Rhody through the years and then showed a VIP vehicle arriving at the Ryan Center with screaming fans surrounding it.

Dressed in a tuxedo, Rhody exited the vehicle to the cheers of the entourage. New Rhody exchanged a high-five with former Rhody who stood outside the Ryan Center, reminiscing on his years at URI before his final farewell and his retirement in Hawaii.

“This evening is the perfect complement to our new branding initiative, which captures our spirit, our academic rigor, our innovation and our ability to celebrate and enjoy our victories whether they come in the classroom, the research laboratory or the athletic arena,” Beagle said.

Other Rhody news:
A Rhody the Ram Chat with Robert Beagle, vice president for University Advancement"
Rammin’ with Rhody through the years
New-look Rhody to take center stage at Ryan Center, Feb. 25"

And about the Rams' win over Dayton...
"Men's Basketball Takes Down Dayton 93-91 in Overtime" URI Department of Communications and Marketing photo by Nora Lewis