Oglethorpe University unveils new mascot symbolizing persistence and student success

Golden retriever Vienna Richardson standing on a bench while the sun hits her backside and she smiles.

Vienna’s owner is Assistant Director of Student Success Lauren Richarson.

Oglethorpe University has revealed its new mascot, Vienna the Golden Retriever.

Oglethorpe’s increased focus on student success has led to a wide appreciation of the office and its services. It has expanded into a much deeper love for a certain staff member in the Student Success Office: Vienna. Students report having improved mental health, feeling more prepared to register for classes, and having an overall sense they are set up for success at Oglethorpe because of Vienna’s assistance.

Because of her commitment to helping students achieve their academic and personal goals, both the Board of Trustees and the university’s senior administrative leadership team have unanimously decided to embrace man’s best friend and replace OU’s current mascot, Petey the Petrel, with Vienna.

“We believe Vienna embodies the spirit and values of our university in a way that no other mascot can,” says President Kathryn McClymond.

“Oglethorpe’s motto, Nescit Cedere, translates to ‘one who does not know how to give up.’ When I first saw Vienna try her hardest to catch a ball on the quad, I knew she perfectly represented our motto.”

Petey and Vienna sit a distance away from each other while Petey gives Vienna the cold shoulder and looks away.The Stormy Petrel, chosen by President Thornwell Jacobs, has served as Oglethorpe’s official mascot for many years. This unusual mascot – a small, persistent seabird, according to legend, had inspired James Oglethorpe while on board a ship to Georgia in 1732. Seen at OU sports events and even on television, the lovable bird represented the university well throughout his tenure.

When asked for a statement, Petey declined.

Vienna is an 8-year-old golden retriever with a bachelor’s degree in Good Girl Studies. When she isn’t busy advising students, she enjoys going on walks with her owner and Assistant Director of Student Success, Lauren Richardson.

“Vienna is looking forward to dedicating more of her time to Oglethorpe,” says Richardson.

“She’s loyal not only to me but also to the Oglethorpe mission– ‘Make a life. Make a living. Make a Difference.'”

If you were having a ‘ruff’ day, we hope this made you ‘bark’ with laughter. Happy April Fool’s Day! While Vienna won’t be Oglethorpe’s new mascot, students can still visit her this week when they get cleared for registration by their Student Success Advisor. And don’t worry, Petey isn’t going anywhere!

Petey petting Vienna as she smiles and has her tongue out.
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