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Athletics Identity

Macalester’s newest Scot is the Highland Cow, aka Heilan Coo

The Highland Cow was selected with input from thousands of Macalester alumni, students, faculty and staff. Close to 7,500 people weighed in with their preferences throughout the spring semester. The feedback was then reviewed by the Mascot Selection Committee, which is composed of faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

During the initial submission process, when community members were asked to suggest ideas, the Highland Cow received the most mentions. “Hardy,” “Scottish” and “horns” were words that came up often, alluding to the competitive nature of our Scots. Many noted that Highland Cattle are both imposing as well as “steadfast” and loyal to their herd. The cattle also can be found all over the world, much like our alumni.

The Highland Cow costume will be introduced this fall at MacFest, September 27-29.

If you’d like to use any athletics marks, please contact Julie Hogan at [email protected]

Read the full mascot process and FAQs 

Interesting Facts About Highland Cattle

Known as Hairy Coos, Heilan Coo, or Highland Cattle, our new mascot has many traits that make it a perfect symbol for the Scots.

  • They are known for their distinctive horns—which both males and females have. Horns can span four feet across on a full grown male.
  • They have wooly orange coats, which helps them withstand extreme weather conditions in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Though they are considered even tempered animals, they are fierce when it comes to protecting their herd, called a fold.
  • These hardy animals have the ability to thrive in poor pastures that other cattle would surely die in.
  • The first herd book was created in 1885, which is also the first year Macalester held graduation.
  • They are native to Scotland but can now be found all over the world.