Macalester is pleased to announce that the Highland Cow, aka Heilan Coo, is our newest Scot and official mascot.

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. 

It’s gender-neutral in appearance, hardy, and can live outside in the cold Scottish weather. They also have even temperaments and are friendly,” noted one entry. 

Submissions also observed that, early in Macalester’s history, a cow–though not a Highland Cow– was brought to the third floor of Old Main as a student prank. One entry noted that the first herd book for Highland Cattle was created in 1885, the same year as Macalester’s first graduating class. 

The Mascot Selection Committee deliberated over the results of the final feedback round, which narrowed the options to the Highland Cow and the Loch Ness Monster. Ultimately, the Mascot Selection Committee decided the Highland Cow would become the mascot.

The Highland Cow costume will be introduced this fall at MacFest, September 27-29. “Mac the Scot,” our current mascot, will retire to Scotland in August, where he will watch Macalester’s Pipe Band perform in the World Championships in Glasgow, August 16-17. 

The selection of a new mascot is part of a complete overhaul of the athletics brand. View the new athletic visual marks.

“While there were many great mascot suggestions for the ‘Scots,’ I’m excited that our community has helped us to choose the Highland Cow. Like this iconic breed, we stand tall, resilient, and proud. With the Highland Cow leading the way, Mac Athletics will charge forward fearlessly, embodying the values of Macalester in every step we take,” said Donnie Brooks, associate vice president for Student Affairs and athletics director.

Read the full mascot process and FAQs

May 13 2024

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