The Rebel Black Bear Will Succeed Colonel Reb As University Of Mississippi's Mascot : The Two-Way After a seven-year search, and several votes by students, alumni and ticket holders, the William Faulkner-inspired mascot won the day.
NPR logo The Rebel Black Bear Will Succeed Colonel Reb As University Of Mississippi's Mascot

The Rebel Black Bear Will Succeed Colonel Reb As University Of Mississippi's Mascot

The Rebel Black Bear, inspired by a William Faulkner short story, was one of three finalists to be the next Ole Miss mascot. Ole Miss Mascot Selection Committee hide caption

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Ole Miss Mascot Selection Committee

Hotty Toddy, Ole Miss fans! The University of Mississippi's seven-year search for a new on-field mascot has come to an end.

The Rebel Black Bear -- inspired by Teddy Roosevelt, and William Faulkner's "The Bear" -- beat The Rebel Landshark, a nickname for the school football team's defense, and Hotty Toddy.

You can hear Ty New, the co-chair of the Rebel Mascot Selection Committee, describe all three to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly here.

The Rebel Mascot Selection Committee polled Ole Miss students, faculty, staff, alumni and season ticket holders. Here's how the chips fell:

The poll indicated that 62 percent of those polled support the Rebel Black Bear. The Rebel Land Shark drew 56 percent support, and Hotty Toddy drew 42 percent.

What happens next?

According to Michael Thompson, the university's senior associate athletics director for marketing and connections, "we know that the new mascot has to complement the experience at all athletics events and create a lasting connection between Ole Miss and our children, our future Ole Miss Rebels."

As simple as that may sound, there are many elements involved to make that successful – everything from creating a costume and recruiting and training someone to serve as the first mascot to selecting a 2011 launch venue and date.