BY MARK SCARANO, Staff Writer
Changes coming to UM-Dearborn could soon bring closer ties to the campus in Ann Arbor. Currently in the preliminary stages, discussions are being held to change the mascot of the Dearborn campus from the Wolves to the Wolverines.
Student Government President David Knezek announced he was taking part in a potential unifying decision to turn the UM-Dearborn Wolves into the UM-Dearborn Wolverines.
Knezek made his announcement to the Senate during an open forum discussion on Friday, February 3. He led the 38 attendees, which consisted of Senators, Fellows, a Student Activities Office advisor, and guests, to unanimously and enthusiastically clap, signifying their approval for such a potential decision.
Ken Kettenbeil, the Executive Director of Communications and Marketing for the UM-Dearborn campus, was able to validate this claim, stating that, “The University of Michigan-Dearborn is always trying to better enhance the student athlete experience.” Because of this there is the “possibility to change the nickname of the Wolves to Wolverines.”
The possibility of the potential nickname change spawned over the course of one weekly executive meeting, where the attendees were bouncing around ideas to create a strategic goal to better the athletic program.
As concerns arose, Kettenbeil stated that the Dearborn in “UM-Dearborn” would not be dropped, and that the UM-Dearborn campus would always remain titled as so. Kettenbeil went on to say that there would be reasons behind the potential nickname change.
The nickname change may affect not only marketing aspects of both campuses, but may impact the traditions on both campuses, as well as current students. Because of the audiences that may be impacted, Kettenbeil assured that there would be heavy statistical research behind such a decision, so that certain aspects of both campuses would be preserved.
Another debatable topic is the current logo for the UM-Dearborn Wolves, or lack thereof. Variations have been suggested to the UM-Dearborn campus, which ranged from what Kettenbeil stated was an “angry” looking Wolf to a “Yukon Husky.”
Wolf Pack, a sports programming board at the UM-Dearborn Campus, may have the closest logo of the UM-Dearborn mascot to date, a wolf head with a circular outline in maize, with subtle blue shadowing. Although clip-art has been suggested as an alternative for the UM-Dearborn campus, according to Kettenbeil there really “Isn’t a Wolves logo.”
Kettenbeil also brought attention to the UM-Flint campus. He stated that they had no athletic program, consisted of club sports, and that their mascots also varied from both U of M and UM-Dearborn. Examples of the Flint campuses mascot diversity are the football club, titled as the “Kodiaks,” and the UM-Flint campus mascot, which is nicknamed “the Victors,” according to a 2008 publication by Mike Morland, a University Record Intern.
“There will be lots of collaboration before the paperwork.” Kettenbeil said as he stressed that the potential nickname change was all preliminary thought. Kettenbeil concluded that in “30 days we will know more.”