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July 8, 2013/For Immediate Release, high resolution photo available

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu




(Winston-Salem) The mascot of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) – the Fighting Pickle – is an internet sensation, along with some Blue Hens, Banana Slugs, Fighting Artichokes, Acorns and others. A list of “11 somewhat strange, but mostly awesome college mascots” has been viewed by more than 120,000 readers since it was released online June 26 by Buzzfeed.com.

(See http://www.buzzfeed.com/goboundless/11-somewhat-strange-but-mostly-awesome-college-ma-9an5.)

Buzzfeed said of the Fighting Pickle: “We can’t begin to explain how awesome the story of the UNCSA pickle is. Wouldn’t it be cute if they called freshmen cucumbers?” It included a link to an alumnus’  account of how the Pickle came to be UNCSA’s mascot.

(Visit: http://library.uncsa.edu/home/archives/the-true-story-of-how-the-pickles-got-their-name.)

Other schools on the Buzzfeed list include the Blue Hens of the University of Delaware; the Billikens of St. Louis University in Missouri; the Banana Slugs of the University of California-Santa Cruz; the Cobbers (a snarling, though friendly ear of corn) of Concordia College in Minnesota; the Fighting Artichokes of Scottsdale (Ariz.) Community College; the Orange of Syracuse University in New York; the Ladies and Gentlemen of Centenary College in Louisiana; the Geoduck of Evergreen State University in Washington; the Acorns of State University of New York College of Science and Forestry; and the Boilermakers of Purdue University in Indiana. 

The Fighting Pickle

National attention is nothing new to UNCSA’s Fighting Pickle.  In August 2012 it was named the “Cheesiest College Mascot” by Chester Cheetah, the mischievous spokescat for Cheetos, a leading brand from PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. And in 2011, Reader’s Digest named it the second “most lovable college mascot” in the nation, behind the Purple Cow of Williams College (Williamston, Mass.). It also was featured in the March 2013 issue of “Every Day with Rachael Ray” in a story about food mascots.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.