Although the Sesquicentennial Celebration does not officially begin until its opening ceremony next September, the College is hard at work promoting its 150th anniversary and finishing some major projects in time for the 2004-2005 school year.
The countdown to the opening ceremony began on Feb. 9 when the College unveiled a clock that will click down the time until Sep. 8. The countdown is prominently displayed outside of Brower Student Center, where the athletic trophies were once displayed. The clock is surrounded by pictures of the College at various stages of its history.
This semester, the Sesquicentennial Committee is focusing on spreading the news of the College's anniversary to students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.
"We want everyone on campus to feel like a part of the anniversary," Sue Long, public information officer for the College, said.
According to Long, the committee is hosting several contests to raise awareness of the anniversary and the College's history. The first, which began on Monday, is a "Name the Mascot" contest, in which participants are given a choice of 10 names for the College's Lion mascot. The winning name will be announced at the opening ceremony next year.
The names Linus, Norm, Phelps, Quimby, Rodman, Roscoe, Roy, Trent, Walker and Walt were picked to honor important figures in the College's history. The entrants range from former College presidents to successful coaches to former school names. The most recent honoree is Walter Chambers, who served on the Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2003.
The most unique choice is Linus, the original name for the Lion Mascot. According to the sesquicentennial Web site, "Alumni from the 1960s may still remember the lion as Linus the Lion, but the name has not been used in recent history."
Participants may vote for their favorite mascot name at tcnj.edu/~150years. This Web site also contains the list of events for next year's celebration, and will be updated with more contests throughout the semester.
The opening ceremony of the sesquicentennial celebration will be held on Sep. 8. It will consist of a torch run between the original site of the school on North Clinton Avenue in Trenton and the College.