THIBODAUX — After five years with a faceless Colonel, Nicholls State University is introducing a new, updated Colonel mascot. In concert with the start of the Fall 2009 semester, new athletics logos featuring Col. Tillou will be unveiled at Thibodaux retailers as early as Saturday, Aug. 1.
Nicholls fans are encouraged to visit the University Bookstore, Wal-Mart, Three Stitches and other retail outlets to browse merchandise featuring the new logo.
“We are so excited to unveil the new Col. Tillou,” Renee Piper, director of university relations said. “He’s contemporary looking and much fiercer than his predecessor. It was a year-long process that incorporated ideas and input from a host of Nicholls constituents, and I’m proud of the results.”
In 2004, Nicholls President Stephen Hulbert retired the 42-year-old Colonel caricature, known as Tillou, and the bearded mascot costume. Although the Colonel remained the official mascot designation for Nicholls, and the name “Tillou” was not retired, the university has been without a visual representation of the Colonel since that time.
No longer. Ohio-based Rickabaugh Graphics, a nationally recognized mascot design company, was contracted by the university in June 2008 to develop the new Colonel image. For a five-month period, Rickabaugh met with university focus groups composed of community members, Nicholls students, alumni, faculty and staff to discuss ideas and concerns regarding the mascot – the goal being to create a new athletics visual identity program, including a new look for Colonel Tillou.
The designs were finalized earlier this year, but university officials kept the new costume and logos under wraps, awaiting the big reveal.
The Col. Tillou costumed mascot is scheduled to make his public debut at the university’s annual Welcome Back Day celebration. The event is open to the public and slated for Thursday, Aug. 27, in the university Quadrangle. The three-hour ceremony will kick off at 11 a.m., with Col. Tillou making his entrance around 11:30 a.m.
The new athletics logos and mascot will become part of the Nicholls family of trademarked logos that includes the highly recognizable large, red letter “N.”