Starting out with a total of 39 different mascots across multiple SUNY schools, Victor E. Knight was crowned the champion of the fourth annual SUNY-wide contest, Mascot Madness, with over 15,000 votes.
All of the participating mascots were ranked by the amount of athletic teams each character represents. After that, the mascots were sectioned into four SUNY regions: Erie, Hudson, Mohawk and Genesee. Victor E. Knight was in the Genesee region.
Earlier this semester, Geneseo underwent an unexpected loss when two students passed away. The campus’ unity only grew tighter from this tragic event, however, with the hashtag #OneKnight surfacing all around campus and social media. That harmonious sentiment and school spirit has carried on throughout the year. Contests like Mascot Madness work to strengthen that spirit within the SUNY system and within the individual schools.
“I think it’s a good representation of college spirit … promoting the idea of together we are one Knight, one community,” Director of Student Life Chip Matthews said.
The competition—held from March 8–28—pitted Geneseo’s pride and joy Victor E. Knight against SUNY Fredonia’s Fred Blue Devil, SUNY New Paltz’s Hugo, two-time champion Binghamton University’s Baxter Bearcat, Columbia-Greene Community College’s Rip and SUNY Stony Brook’s Wolfie. Although voting polls for each week proved to be a close call, the Geneseo community pushed through, helping to move Knight further in the competition.
Matthews noted what a huge accomplishment it was for Geneseo to defeat Binghamton, a school more than twice its size. As a mascot for a small university, the odds were against Victor E. Knight, but the Geneseo community proved to be a force that was not be reckoned with. Geneseo is a small school with a huge amount of spirit.
“This is the first year we ever made it this far,” Matthews said.
There is an array of people behind the mask of Victor E. Knight. Geneseo has a mascot training program, which was created by student intern senior Skye Cardona. In this program, people are hired and trained to portray Victor E. Knight. Although brought to life by many people, the Knight has a personality of his own. Coming from humble beginnings, Victor E. Knight studied medieval art and literature, watches “Game of Thrones” and enjoys the restaurants of Main Street.
Matthews hopes that the Knight will continue to foster unity throughout the campus and bring together students from all walks of life. Victor E. Knight promoted school spirit and enthusiasm among the Geneseo campus and community through Mascot Madness, proving that strength can come in small numbers.