SARASOTA, FLORIDA — New College of Florida is turning over a new leaf as part of a widely publicized overhaul to the public liberal arts school.
The college announced the “Mighty Banyan” would now serve as the new mascot.
First-year student Anna Lazzara designed the image of a flexing banyan tree, which is considered the largest in the world and can be found in numerous places on the New College campus.
“The New College spirit is the combination of a supportive community and a stunning natural landscape,” Lazzara said in a press release. “Both of these things, I believe, are perfectly represented in the form of a mighty Banyan tree.”
The banyan tree is famous for its aerial roots called “accessory trunks” that sprout from branches and drape down to the ground like hanging curtains. The trees can live for centuries.
“The updated mascot symbolizes the future vision of New College and what we are all working so hard toward,” Interim President Richard Corcoran said. “From strength, growth and longevity, to many branches working as one, the Mighty Banyan is the perfect representation of who we are here at New College, as well who we are aiming to become.”
REPLACING THE “EMPTY SET”
The Mighty Banyans offer a more traditional naming convention than the previous mascot – the “Empty Set,” a mathematical symbol represented by a pair of square brackets.
The bizarre choice ranked No. 1 on a The Best Colleges’ list of “9 Baffling College Mascots Across the Country.”
“Legend has it that when the college's constitution was drawn up in 1960, the administrators left a blank space reserved for the future mascot denoted by the empty set,” the article notes. “However, because it was the 60s, they were either too high or too busy strumming acoustic guitars atop beds of daisies to ever choose a mascot. So the nonexistent and complete lack of a mascot became the school's official representative known only as ‘Empty Set.’”
On January 6, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of six new members to the New College board of trustees, who were tasked with resuscitating the failing institution that had become overwhelmed by a destructive Leftist paradigm and leadership.
Last month, New College secured over $34 million in state funding to restore the once distinguished liberal arts school.
“We are excited about this development for New College,” Corcoran added. “But we are also looking forward to the many new projects happening around campus that will undoubtedly enhance and improve the experience for current and future students of New College of Florida.”