Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet you at The Dam

The Dam will be out in full force as the volleyball team plays its home opener against Adrian tonight at 7 p.m. There’s already a buzz growing on campus.

I just love the energy The Dam brings to athletic contests when students line up-sometimes three or four deep-on the stage to cheer their classmates. On occasion friends will come dressed for the game, other times the word will spread to wear a certain color – such as a white-out or a black-out or, my personal favorite, the Purple Polooza.

To add to the excitement, J Denny Beaver, Bluffton's new mascot, is expected to attend his first volleyball game tonight.

While hints have been dropped in the past month via posters and YouTube videos, J Denny was officially introduced to the campus community at Opening Convocation. It would be an understatement to say that he was well received. A comment to a photo posted on Facebook summed it up well – the faculty looked like “kids at Christmas” when J Denny Beaver appeared.

J Denny Beaver is named in honor of Dr. J. Denny Weaver, professor of religion emeritus, who served as Bluffton’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for more than 20 years. Dr. Weaver retired in 2006. He plans to be on campus for Homecoming (Oct. 9) to meet his namesake.

It’s going to be fun watching the mascot create its own mystic under the tutelage of Dan Stanowick, Marbeck Center assistant director and former BGSU Freddie the Falcon. Dan has been invaluable in guiding the creation of the J Denny Beaver persona and training the person(s) who don the beaver.

When the beaver first arrived on campus in July, Dan was the first to put it on. He went into another room, closed the doors, drew the blinds, and in a few minutes emerged as J Denny Beaver.

Our first reaction? J Denny Beaver is buff. But yet he is approachable, non-scary for little kids. It’s amazing how easy it was for him to communicate, to show emotions just by changing his posture and body language. And if the introduction is any indication, Dan has done a great job in passing this knowledge on to Bluffton’s new mascot.

So welcome to Bluffton J Denny Beaver! We’re all looking forward to seeing you at The Dam tonight and for many events to come.

Want to keep up with J Denny’s activities? Friend him on Facebook.

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