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Duncan reveals ‘Highlander’ mascot

Robert Singer | Monday, September 29, 2008

A band of highlanders from Duncan Hall breached the gates of the Joyce Center on Friday evening to help host the pep rally. The other host dorms were Lyons Hall, St. Edward’s Hall, Walsh Hall, Lewis Hall and Badin Hall.

Though the name “Highlander” was announced a week ago, it marked the first time that the Duncan mascot has been displayed to the public.

Many Duncan Hall residents in attendance sported T-shirts bearing the official design, a silhouette of the Scottish warrior. Others heeded the battle cry, donning kilts and war paint and arming themselves with plastic swords and shields.

They were pleased with their mascot, emphasizing its toughness.

“It’s intimidating; it’s Braveheart meets Notre Dame,” senior Graham Austin said.

Other Duncan residents at the pep rally commented that the choice was a good fit for their dorm’s Scottish heritage.

“The Duncan family is Scottish, and Highlanders are Scotts, so we can at least do a tribute to them,” freshman Nico Volsky said.

“Duncan is a Scottish name and we’re right near the golf course, so we asked ourselves how we can build on the Scottish heritage?” senior Josh Uniewski said.

The Duncan family, the main benefactors of the hall, has ancestral roots in Scotland and will be visiting next week for the dorm’s inauguration.

“We’re trying to give a Scottish heart to our dorm which has a Scottish name,” senior Chip Brady said. “We want to get the campus excited because the Duncan family is here next week.”

The dorm colors are based on the age-old Duncan tartan: a crisscrossing kilt pattern of royal blue and Kelly green, according to Austin, that symbolizes the family’s Scottish legacy.

The design artist, senior Hugh Monahan, took many of these ideas into consideration with his portrayal of the Highlander.

“With the design itself, we wanted something that was intimidating and Scottish,” he said. “We wanted something tough but also iconic.”

The unveiling of the Duncan Highlander was just one of many highlights Friday evening. Also featured were performances by Harmonia, the all-women a cappella group of 16, and a DLC – Dorm League Competition – fought among the six host dorms of the pep rally.

The lions, gentlemen, highlanders, wild women, chicks, and bullfrogs battled it out in a single elimination tournament that featured musical chairs, a fill in the lyrics “singing bee,” a paper airplane toss, crab walk, and hotdog eating contest.

St. Ed’s senior Paul Macias anchored the final leg of the competition, bringing his dorm to victory over Lewis Hall by being the first to finish two hot dogs. Macias credited his success to his 6’2,” 240 pound physique.

“The girl was very fit and I was not,” he said. “But as Chuck Lennon said, I have the best student body in the nation.”