He has two wings, big blue eyes, a beak and is white all over. This oversized swan also happens to be the new face of Veishea and a face you'll probably start seeing around campus.
"It [the mascot] was an idea we came up with at our Veishea executive retreat. We wanted to think of ways to bump up Veishea a little bit," said Ashleigh Belin, a Veishea PR co-chair and a senior in marketing. "We all thought it would be cool and unique to Veishea."
The new mascot is in the form a swan in order to coincide with the swan that represents the Veishea logo.
"We are really pushing for more community and college involvement this year," said Danika Schroeder, a Veishea committee member who has worn the mascot suit. "Swanson is just our fun way of getting everybody excited and interested!"
The Veishea public relations committee let students suggest names for the new mascot, then selected the top five — Swanson, Ella, Swanita, Walt and Arthur — for a final public vote.
The official name was announced Friday, Jan. 25.
"I think Swanson is a great name for the new Veishea swan," Schroeder said. "I think Swanson will be easy to remember, and when students see him around on campus the week of Veishea, they'll know his name."
Veishea members are currently the only ones wearing the mascot, but those interested in participating can sign up for Veishea Corp. However, those who choose to wear the mascot must also sign a contract and follow a set number of rules.
"Whenever duty calls, someone is always eager to suit up!" Schroeder said. "Being Swanson was way more fun than I anticipated. I got to take pictures with everyone, give high-fives and dance and no one even knew it was me. I could totally embarrass myself and it was fine."
Swanson made an appearance at the ISU Dance Marathon on Saturday, Jan. 26, during the ISU Traditions hour, where he posed for pictures, handed out high fives and danced with Iowa State's other mascot, Cy.
George Micalone, director of student activities, explained that they found the mascot through a web search and that most mascots cost between $500 and $900.
The mascot will be used mainly in Veishea promotional activities for the public relations committee and at times the recruitment committee.
Belin stated that they hope to get Swanson out on campus as much as possible before and during Veishea.
This year's Veishea will begin on the week of April 15.