The Trailblazer Bear mascot greeted students at the Asheville campus.

A-B Tech Debuts New Trailblazer Mascot

The Trailblazer Bear mascot greeted students at the Asheville campus.

Logo and Trailblazer Bear unveiled after a yearlong selection process.

A-B Tech’s new mascot, the Trailblazer, made its official debut after a year-long selection process involving students and employees. The new Trailblazers logo appears on campus signage and digital screens, and the Trailblazer Bear mascot was on hand to greet students at the Asheville campus.

A new mascot was requested by the Recruiting Department and Student Government Association (SGA) as a way to energize current and prospective students about campus life at A-B Tech. In May 2017, the first step was an email survey that was sent to all employees, who selected three finalists: Trailblazer, Bear, and Groundhog (both animals with frequent sightings on the Asheville campus).

With input from a mascot committee comprised of SGA members and employees, it was determined that the mascot should be an animal and gender-neutral. Students were surveyed in November 2017 on the following options: Trailblazer Bear, Trailblazer Groundhog, Bear, Groundhog, or “Other.” There was a terrific response, with students voting overwhelming for the Trailblazer Bear and Bear. The final selection was revealed in February.

The mascot committee was led by Becky Garland, Recruiter and College Liaison for High School Programs, and Josh Weaver, Graphic-Web Designer and Print Shop Manager. Other members represented SGA, Student Life, Student Services, Community Relations and Marketing, Instructional Services, and the Bookstore. Weaver designed the logo that was ultimately selected by the committee and approved by the Executive Leadership Team.

In addition to appearing on digital screens and signage at all locations, the logo will be on window clings at the Bailey and Coman buildings, an internal wall at Bailey, on stickers, and on various items available in the College Bookstore. The mascot also has been incorporated into the new Trailblazer Leadership Academy.

The Trailblazer is not A-B Tech’s first mascot. In 1970, after students voted to have an activity fee to fund a basketball team, they chose the Atomics as A-B Tech’s first mascot. The first basketball game was played against the Warren Wilson Owls in 1970. The team had great years between 1974-77, with the 1975 team ranked fourth in the nation in the National Little College Athletic Association. The Atomics continued to play until 1986, when the program ended after the expense of participating in athletics became too much for the student activity fee to cover.

About A-B Tech Community College

One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas and certificates in more than 60 curriculum programs through its five academic divisions: Allied Health and Public Service Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality Education, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology.

The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for workforce partnerships, specific job training and retraining, as well as personal enrichment classes.

A-B Tech enrolls more than 25,000 curriculum and continuing education students in programs at its Asheville, Enka, Madison, South, Woodfin and Goodwill locations.

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