Cavalier Patrick Talamantes presents newly named Baxter with a proclamation declaring him the 50th-anniversary mascot on Jan. 17. (Photo by Cissy Shi)

Meet Baxter! 50th-anniversary owl gets a new historical name (includes list of suggestions)

For the complete list of name suggestions, please click here. (Courtesy of Julie Nelson via the Friday Email)

Sorting through 326 submissions for the contest to name the 50th-anniversary mascot turned faculty and committee into real night owls.

But after much deliberation, WendyRoss, director of institutional advancement, and senior Patrick Talamantes announced Friday morning that Baxter was the winning name.

Baxter received five votes with the runner-up, Alice (after Alice Matthews), receiving three.

Baxter Geeting was a founder of the school, and a staff member submitted the name in his honor.

The anniversary committee is composed of faculty, former faculty and alumni, and is headed by Richard Mancina, ‘73. Member Sue Nellis, head of high school, put Baxter in her top five favorites.

“I think it’s a fun name, but I also liked it because of the history,” Nellis said.

Among the losers were a number of random, weird, creative, sentimental and just plain silly entries.

Two popular names for no apparent reason were Bob and Richard. Twenty-two students from the lower school and high school chose Bob or Bob Jr. and, coincidentally, 22 students from the lower, middle, and high schools chose Richard, Rich or Rick.

Bob was a particular favorite in the second grade, perhaps in honor of a certain nautical sponge, with 11 votes.

It was a real hoot reading some of the puns submitted. Examples included Owl the Great and Powerful (second grade), Owl-vin (fifth grade), and Owlfred (middle-school). Punny entries from the faculty included Ima X. Tinct, Ivana Buyyav Owl, the Russian owl, and Mr. Know-it- Owl.

History teacher Daniel Neukom suggested Solon. He was an Athenian statesman, and “the wisest leader of democratic Athens,” according to Neukom.

Names of other school founders were also popular. Herbert (or Herb) was recommended by a faculty member in memory of Herbert Matthews.

Matthews, a math teacher, was the school’s first headmaster.

Another name in honor of a former leader of the school was Georgia, after Georgia Rust, the lower-school librarian for almost 30 years.

Harry Potter also received some love with names like Hedwig (Harry’s owl) and Pigwidgeon (Ron’s owl) proving popular.

A clever play on words, Stephen Raptor, was submitted by a middle schooler in a nod to headmaster Stephen Repsher.

Eight juniors suggested Chien Hoot in honor of ever-studious junior Chien Ho, whom they said they consider a role model for the school.

For now, Baxter is the owl’s official name and all the rest will have to wait their chance, until the Country Day centennial in 2064.


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