Texas Border Business
By Amanda L. Alaniz
RIO GRANDE VALLEY, TEXAS – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley today unveiled the look of its new mascot – the Vaquero.
The costumed version of the mascot, which will be portrayed by a UTRGV student, is slated to be revealed fall 2019. The mascot will serve as a university ambassador and entertainer at campus and off-campus community events.
Cindy Mata, director of UTRGV Student Activities, said talks among a committee of faculty, staff and students to decide on the Vaquero mascot had been in the works since 2015.
The committee searched for a design that would resonate as a symbol of the university and of the Valley. The looks of the mascot costume were voted on – and created – by UTRGV students.
“Student designers from the theater department helped design the outfit the mascot will wear,” Mata said. “They based the look on our region and did research about real vaqueros. All the costume pieces were designed by our students. And our students also voted for the symbols included on the outfit.”
In April 2018, two options for a mascot look were unveiled, and a poll was created, with more than 2,800 student votes being submitted. The winning look was revealed at a UTRGV Baseball game the following month.
“We really want this mascot to embody school spirit,” Mata said. “It has strong ties to our Valley legacies, too – some pieces the mascot will be wearing link back to our legacies. Everything that was chosen and designed by students ties back into the region.”