FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After Indiana University Fort Wayne announced their new campus mascot, the Red Foxes last August, the university hosted a grand reveal of the mascot during IU Day on Wednesday afternoon in Neff Hall.
The grand reveal went from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and included a proclamation from Fort Wayne’s Mayor Tom Henry and the attendance of other staple mascots in Fort Wayne, such as Don the Mastodon of Purdue Fort Wayne, Johnny TinCap of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, and the Mad Ant of Fort Wayne’s Mad Ants.
Ann Obergfell, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Operations of IU Fort Wayne, says IU Day is an important day for the university and a reminder to the community that IU is still in Fort Wayne after the separation of Purdue and Indiana University (IPFW) on campus back in 2016.
“What happened was Purdue had the branding rights for the university. So, we’re still here, but people don’t recognize it, so they thought IU was gone,” Obergfell said. “But we’re still here and going strong.”
Obergfell said the university has grown from about 300 students a year ago to a little over 1,000 now. She also said the mascot was chosen in part by the community.
“That whole campaign came from my team here. They actually went out in the community and asked for people to send in ideas on who could be our mascot,” Obergfell said. “They came back, the committee looked at it and identified four, we sent that out for a vote, and so the community — including the Fort Wayne community — and the campus community selected the red fox.”
As the community gathered for the event, Obergfell said it was exciting seeing all of the school spirit.
“They’re proud of being IU students, but we’re very proud of them and what they’re doing and what they’re going to do in the future. It was really great to see people from the community here.”
The IU Fort Wayne Red Fox is named Ruby.