For me, being a mascot was energizing, important, and fun.
When you put on the suit, you are no longer yourself. You become a new character, the essence of school spirit and socialization.
J. Denny Beaver is loved by everyone. He is the most popular student on campus; everyone knows who J. Denny is. He is a strong character who has a cheeky personality at times. He’s dynamic, mold-able, shifting. He can be a Christmas beaver, a dance competition champion, a football fan, a friend, a joy.
Jenny Beaver is the new girl. People were not sure what to think of her at first. She is a very fun character. She knows she’s beautiful and she is very feminine and flirtatious. Quick to flip her hair and wave.
J. Denny and Jenny are the most well know couple on campus. They are a new couple, so when you see them, most of the time they are holding hands or picking on each other. But they always make sure to break away from each other for a bit to socialize with more people.
Being a person inside the suit has its ups and downs.
Inside the suit it is hot and kind of heavy. You can only see through where their teeth are and the way the helmet fits inside the head you are always looking at someone’s shoes unless you wrench your neck all the way up to see straight ahead of you. So it is easy to bump into things, or people. But its an an obstacle you learn to overcome.
Being a part of an important piece of Bluffton University’s school spirit was a wonderful experience.
Because the identity of who is in the J. Denny suit is a secret, I was constantly looking over my shoulder and gravitating toward students I had never met before, as to not give myself away.
The secrecy of it all is half of the fun. Meeting new people and performing is the other half.
The smiles and tugs of young children, the high fives and fist bumps from alumni and the acceptance and inclusion of the students and the freedom of performance and character interpretation, make being a mascot pleasant and enjoyable.
Being a beaver mascot was a worthwhile addition to my college career and will be one of the proud memories I take with me after graduation.