On Thursday, The Heights Editorial Board came out in favor of naming Boston College's live eagle mascot 'Welles,' writing:
Students should choose the name "Welles," after Welles Remy Crowther, BC '99, who served as the ultimate example of bravery, selflessness, and service for others on Sept. 11, 2001.
The BC community should take this opportunity to honor the "man in the red bandana," whose spirit we should all seek to emulate in our daily lives. Crowther's legacy has become an integral part of our University's identity, and is worthy of remembrance each time the eagle takes flight over Alumni Stadium.
While I am glad to see the family is on board with this name, I still have my reservations about the idea. Does naming a live bird mascot trivialize what the school's real-life 9/11 hero accomplished? Are there other more visible and lasting ways to honor the memory of Welles other than a bird that will make 6-7 appearances a year? What about naming a stadium (Newton Campus Lacrosse and Soccer Field), dorm or academic building after Crowther? Replacing the stained glass pattern with the red bandana pattern on each of the school's varsity sports team uniforms? A tribute a little more visible, lasting and permanent.
My vote remains with Iggy. Ignatius is the central figure of the Jesuit Order and BC is the only Jesuit school playing FBS football. There's also some precedent here. Loyola Marymount's stuffed lion mascot is named Iggy. Fortunately, we'll avoid any mascot naming confusion as Iggy the Lion and Iggy the Eagle won't cross paths. LMU disbanded its football program in 1973.
Ultimately I'll be happy with whatever the students decide. I just believe there are other, more visible and lasting ways that the school can honor the memory of the "man in the red bandana."
Voting remains open for the name of BC's live eagle mascot. The winning name will be revealed at the Boston College-Florida State game on September 28.