|(above) In 2008 George Mason University's "The Patriot" (who bares a striking resemblance to Boone) replaced a PC Sesame Street looking character named "Gunston"|
George Mason University discovered by 2006 that their Politically Correct mascot failed miserably to connect with fans, students & alumni. "The Patriot" a 7-foot 240-pound mascot was brought on board because of his athleticism, strength and agility better reflected the "spirit of the University."
A blue ribbon panel created in 2006 by the University to assess and evaluate proposed designs for the university's mascot. The committee was composed of representatives of Mason's primary constituencies: students, alumni, staff and faculty [compare that to DU's Task Force whom has made no effort to include alumni]. The committee also was charged with what to do with "Gunston," the athletics green furry mascot at the time. In March 2008, the panel made the recommendation to pursue a new mascot and move Gunston into a new role with the University in community relations.
The group reviewed designs submitted by several professional mascot designers in response to a proposal issued through Intercollegiate Athletics [i.e. - GMU's Athletic Department couldn't get rid of Gunston fast enough]. One proposal was to be an updated look for the current Gunston character, and the second was to be an entirely new mascot reflecting "patriot spirit in the 21st century."
While speaking to a 60-student marketing class in 2006, Athletic Director Andy Ruge was asked why the school would consider replacing its mascot after school's fantastic run in the 2005 NCAA Basketball Tournament.
"I said 'Let's just stop; how many people like Gunston?' " Ruge said. "And no one raised their hand. I said 'That's why.' He's not creating excitement if he's not loved and embraced."
In 2008 George Mason University officially selected "The Patriot" and its still the mascot of George Mason University to this day.