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Mascot Invites Mascot Friends to First Birthday Bash
OKLAHOMA CITY — Starsky the Ram, Oklahoma City University’s new mascot, will celebrate his first birthday with a mascot competition party at 3:30 p.m. April 1 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. Mascots from schools across the state have been invited to help Starsky celebrate with a range of activities including a show by the birthday boy. Proceeds from the event will go to the Special Olympics. Leah Diaz, OCU student organizer of the party, said she is looking forward to seeing the talents of some of Oklahoma’s many unique team mascots at all levels. “For a lot of fans, the mascot is the most memorable part of the game,” Diaz said. “Starsky’s Oklahoma Mascot Competition will show us why. It is an event that will encourage Oklahoma high schools, colleges and pro teams to compete for the title and bragging rights as the best mascot in their respective division.” Competitions will include an obstacle course featuring a giant slingshot bowling game and bleacher step bobsled races, a dancing contest, dodge ball, tug-o-war and a two-minute skit presentation. The competitions will be judged by celebrity guests and mascot coaches from area universities. There will also be a performance by the Air Assault Dunk Team featuring Starsky the Ram, and autograph and photo booth sessions with Starsky and his guests. The birthday party will begin with a mascot clinic for those who wish to learn new skills. The competitions and shows will begin at 3:30 p.m. Admission is $1 to benefit the Special Olympics. OCU Cheer Coach Brandy Corcoran said that while the talents of mascots are entertaining, there’s a lot of work that goes into becoming a team’s official figurehead. “Sure it’s all fun and games once the athletic competition begins, but there’s a lot of training involved to become a truly great mascot,” Corcoran said. “We’re honored to have one of the few mascot scholarship programs in the country at OCU. They’re an important positive visual component for their schools and their teams, and we’re pleased to help ours improve their skills and help them with their education.” OCU has five student mascots receiving scholarships through the program. They are required to be full-time students and remain in good academic standing to qualify. Less than a year after his arrival during the 2009 Homecoming basketball game, Starsky is already hitting the road to national competitions. He will compete this weekend in Anaheim, Calif., against NCAA powerhouse schools like the University of California Los Angeles, University of Oregon and California State University. For more information about Starsky’s birthday party call Diaz at (405) 208-5221 or Eli Coronis at (405) 833-6305. Starsky’s Story The first session of the Oklahoma Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was held in Oklahoma City in 1892. One if its main goals was to establish a quality seminary in the city to give local students the best education possible. As legend tells, city leaders Anton Classen and C.B. Ames took on the challenge of constructing such an institution. On April 1, 1903, the entire city shut down to witness the laying of the very first cornerstone to Epworth University, the precursor to Oklahoma City University. That night, Classen and Ames offered a prayer in which they asked God to bless the university, to protect and prosper it, and all educated therein. As the invocation came to a close, the men lifted their heads to the sky. There, on that dusk, Oklahoma spring evening, they were given the very sign they’d been hoping for. In the nightfall, just beyond the horizon was a radiant group of stars. These heavenly bodies of light were unlike any others, as they were a group, yet uniquely individual and unlike other stars in the sky. These stars were brilliantly golden, making them brighter and more visible. Although they lit the world one star at a time, together they took the form of an Aries. For centuries, the cradle of dreams for many great civilizations has been blessed by this ram, Aries. For more than 100 years, OCU has been guided by this powerful gold star, which makes up the ram’s resilient, solid horns representing power and strength. The attributes of Aries have been instilled at the core of our greatest leader to date, President Tom McDaniel, who can be described as a gentleman, a leader, a man’s man and a force to be reckoned with — ram whose approach to leadership has been full of vigor, initiative and passion. The ram is the commander, the headman, innovator and catalyst, just as all OCU stars are challenged to be. So, it is no surprise that as we prepare to pass the torch of leadership, we ask that Starsky the Ram become ever present on this campus, once again, as our sign of strength and our guiding light.