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story | Dave Chappell, Editor-in-Chief
photo | Public Affairs
Yale-NUS College unveiled the official Yale-NUS mascot, Halcyon, on Thursday, Feb. 2. Pericles Lewis, President of Yale-NUS College, revealed the final design for the Kingfisher mascot in an email to the student body.
Work on the mascot began in September 2015. The Kingfisher mascot was then ratified by the student body on April 7, 2016, after three rounds of voting. Since ratification, the Yale-NUS Student Government held focussed group discussions to gather feedback on the mascot design and name.
The name Halcyon emerged from one of these student focus group discussions. In the announcement, Mr. Lewis said that the Halcyon was a mythical bird in Greek legend that had the power to calm the waves and winds. Today, the word denotes a period of time that is idyllically happy and peaceful.
The original names “attempted to incorporate ‘YNC,’ and were cute, but minimised the seriousness of the mascot,” said Vice-President of the Student Government, Avery Simmons ’19. Simmons added that she anticipates the mascot becoming cemented into Yale-NUS culture. She said she hopes to see a human-sized Halcyon in action at an Inter-Faculty Game.
Mr. Lewis added that if students want to feature Halcyon on any material they should contact the Public Affairs office for details on the proper ways to use the mascot design. In an interview with The Octant, Mr. Lewis said that he was “very keen about the importance of keeping consistency in the logos of Yale-NUS…especially in the early days.”
In the same email, Mr. Lewis also confirmed Richard Levin as the Yale-NUS commencement speaker at the inaugural graduation. He also announced Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of the Republic of Singapore and Chancellor of National University of Singapore, as the guest of honor.