Roary-ing to life


Joshua Boley, The Chart

The first appearance of the new mascot, Roary, was during the 75th anniversary picnic held in the Lions’ Den.

This year marks not only the 75th anniversary of Missouri Southern, but the anniversary of the mascot as well. 

Homecoming weekend, the new face of the lion was unveiled as a happier, more family-friendly lion. The new mascot costume was made by Street Characters Inc. In addition to being more welcoming, it features a more comfortable wear for the face underneath the mask.

The new mascot doesn’t stop at just the costume. The lion now has a name to go with his face. Students and fans in the community were asked to take part in choosing a name, and after weeks of voting, the name Roary won. 

“It was important for us to engage the students, to let the students know that they had a say in what the name of the mascot is, we want students to take ownership of the mascot,” Aaron Lewis, assistant athletic director of marketing and sales, said.

Also, Missouri Southern now offers a paid position for students to be the face behind Roary. 

“The job in general is absolutely amazing, it’s really fun to just goof off and dance around, you can dance as badly as you want without getting weird looks,” said the current Roary. “I feel like I’m myself, it makes me more energetic. I feel like I’m making a great contribution to the community and to the school.”

The lion will not only be seen at sporting events amping up the crowd but at events around Joplin too. As well as being more involved in the community, the new Roary is set to attend nearby high schools and elementary schools.

“This is like a new beginning for our mascot. So you can make it as fun or as dull as you want it to be. Obviously we want it to be fun. 

But, it’s a chance to really change the culture at our athletic events, alumni events, marketing events, or whatever it may be. We just hope the students realize the lion’s for them, this is their school,” Lewis said.

Roary will be at the next home football game against Pitt State on Nov. 3.