Rocco’s Reveal: SCC’s beloved mascot unveils newest look

Southeastern Community College’s ram mascot, Rocco, transformed his appearance with new shoes, new clothes and a new head. Since 2008, Rocco has seen three costume changes. This third iteration of Rocco made his official debut at SCC’s first homecoming event on April 27.  

SCC President Dr. Chris English said that Rocco’s new design plays a large part in SCC’s rebranding vision. He said that Rocco represents vitality and athleticism, and children recognize the ram as SCC’s mascot at campus and community events. However, SCC’s mascot has always been a ram but has not always been Rocco. 

SCC’s student body voted a ram as the college’s mascot according to an October 1966 edition of The Clarion, SCC’s campus newspaper. During the 1970s, a live ram named Ramu was used as the college’s mascot at events on campus. The college’s first ram mascot costume did not appear until 2008, when SCC Student Counselor Julia Roberts headed a mascot grant-writing proposal to purchase a costume.  

Roberts recalls covering SCC’s booth at the Columbus County Agriculture Fair in 2007 and brainstorming ways to increase the college’s visibility and branding. She said that if people saw a mascot, it would help them better connect with the college. Roberts got to work on forming a committee to decide on a design for the costume and acquiring a grant from the SCC Foundation to purchase the first Rocco.  

Thanks to the SCC Foundation, the ram mascot costume was purchased from Wincraft Inc. and was received in April 2008,” Roberts wrote in her report to the SCC Foundation. “A name-the-ram contest was held with submissions accepted from students, faculty and staff. The contest was very well received with over 100 names being submitted.” 

Roberts explained that a committee met to review the entries, and they selected “Rocco,” on the recommendation of agricultural biotechnology student Tony Hewett. The committee chose the name with the word “rock” in mind to play off popular songs from the “Rocky” film theme song and “We Will Rock You” by Queen.   

Roberts’ report detailed Rocco’s appearances with his formal debut at SCC’s Spring Fling on April 23, 2008 and was wearing a Spring Fling T-shirt. Rocco’s next event was at Relay for Life on April 25 while sporting a 3XL Relay for Life T-shirt and an FFA District Rally on campus, where more than 300 high school students attended. Before the formal debut, Rocco was seen at Earth Day, a baseball game and an SCC Foundation dinner event.  

Rocco will begin making appearances for the new school year [fall 2008] in order to promote the college and rally school spirit,” Roberts wrote. “Other students will be recruited to wear the costume and auditions will be held.”