The crowd broke into applause this morning on the Garden City Community College campus when Dr. Herbert J. Swender, president, unveiled the institution’s first new logo in more than two decades.
The college’s new G-letter emblem appeared on three large banners that were unfurled simultaneously around the central campus mall as the president spoke, fireworks went off and the college fight song played. The image also came to life on an electronic message board near Saffell Library and the GCCC Academic Building.
“Good morning, Broncbusters,” Swender told nearly 500 students, employees and members of the community at the outdoor ceremony. “This is a true moment in history, because right here, right now, you are among the first people anywhere to see the new logo for Garden City Community College.”
“Effective at this moment,” he added, “Garden City Community College is retiring the old four-letter cube logo that has represented this institution since 1989. We are replacing that collegiate trademark with a new image that is appearing before you at this time.”
Clusters of brown Broncbuster balloons were joined by gold logo balloons, carried into the campus mall by students, as part of the festivities too.
The updated logo is a stylized, forward-thrusting letter “G,” incorporating the college’s traditional brown and gold colors. Students and guests received free T-shirts, as well as decals and insulated drink holders, popularly known as “koozies,” all emblazoned with the image.
For those who wished, temporary tattoos were distributed, and many were already finding their way onto faces, biceps and other spots as students, employees and visitors lined up for a free lunch. Music played, and members of the GC3 Media staff began offering opportunities for groups, couples and individuals to get their pictures taken next to a large copy of the collegiate trademark.
Just after the unveiling, Swender invited Matt Allen to the podium as a special guest, and the Garden City city manager wished GCCC as much success with the new image as the community’s recently-introduced brandmark.
The official unveiling during the brisk, sunny Friday morning was the first of two introductory events. Plans also called for the logo to be announced and shown during halftime at Saturday evening’s GCCC football game in Memorial Stadium. Since the GCCC-Dodge City Community College game is the host school’s alumni night, organizers also planned a post-game party for alumni and friends at Samy’s Spirits and Steakhouse, featuring additional logo giveaways.
Sponsors for the Friday and Saturday festivities, in addition to Samy’s, include the GCCC Student Government Association, the Finney County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Western Kansas Broadcast Center’s Z-98 FM Radio, the Garden City Telegram, AmericInn Hotel and Suites, Quality Structures, Inc., Robinson Alignment, Inc., Screen Printing and Specialties, and GC3 Media.
The new logo was created by Tiffany Heit, who manages GCCC printing and graphic design services, under the direction of Cathy McKinley, executive director of marketing. Final selection was made by the GCCC President’s Cabinet. The launch events were organized by the GCCC Marketing Committee.
“As one of the top-ranked community colleges in the nation, GCCC needs to convey an image of success, collegiality and excellence,” McKinley said.
Swender first announced in 2011 that the college would pursue a new logo design, noting that the old image had served well but adding that he believed it was time for an update.
“We are proud to be named among the top 10 percent of American community colleges,” the president said. “We’re also proud to be ranked among the top 24 in the nation for student success, and we’re equally proud at this time to introduce the new G letter logo that clearly represents the contemporary and powerful institution of higher education that Garden City Community College is today.”
Like the prior emblem, the new logo will represent GCCC in parallel with the familiar Broncbuster image, which serves exclusively as the college mascot. The student-designed cube-style logo that is retiring was introduced early in the administration of Dr. James Tangeman, who served as president in 1988-2000. It was also used throughout the 10-year tenure of Dr. Carol Ballantyne, who retired in 2010.
The designer of the 1989 logo was James Caldwell, then a GCCC art student and today an instructor at Halstead High School.
“When I designed that logo, I tried to visually symbolize the way the college doesn’t quite fit the mold or negative stereotypes of Southwest Kansas,” said Caldwell, who was unable to attend the ceremony because of his faculty responsibilities. “I hope your new logo will rejuvenate that spirit and point to a bright future.”
“It was an honor to have my design chosen to be a symbol of GCCC,” Caldwell added, crediting retired GCCC art instructor Dave Kinder for assistance. “Twenty-three years is a long time for a logo to stand. I will always have fond memories of my time as a Broncbuster.”
Prior to the old emblem’s implementation, GCCC’s trademark was a traditional collegiate seal, dating back to the institution’s founding in 1919.
The Broncbuster image, which was adopted as the official mascot on GCCC’s 20th anniversary by the class of 1939, will continue serving in that capacity.
“We wanted to brand this college and we want people to be as proud as we are of this college,” Heit said. “We didn’t want to be too literal with the design. We wanted to make a simple but powerful statement.”
Implementation of the updated collegiate emblem will begin immediately in online, print and additional applications. Following a procedure pioneered by other institutions, including Kansas State University, organizers anticipate that most of the last printed items bearing the old logo will cycle out of circulation within the year.
“Please enjoy the celebration today,” Swender told the crowd. “Don’t forget the football game Saturday night, and welcome to a brand new era at Garden City Community College.”