Who is the biggest Johnson County Community College fan around? Cavalier mascot Jean Claude of course!
Entertaining Cavalier fans of all ages, Jean Claude is quickly becoming an icon of the college. JC serves as a JCCC ambassador and makes appearances at many different school functions, but his heart lies with Johnson County’s athletic teams. Whether it’s cross country, soccer or volleyball in the fall, or over in the GYM building for basketball games in the winter to the tennis courts, softball and baseball fields in the spring, Jean Claude loves to root JCCC teams to victory.
JCCC athletic teams have been the “Cavaliers” since 1983, when a student body vote changed the name from Kansans. JCCC’s recent rebranding efforts revealed that students were not familiar with the college’s mascot – those who knew it was the Cavalier often weren’t sure what a Cavalier was. Therefore, the college resolved to pay better attention to its mascot and make a concerted effort to ensure students knew not only what a Cavalier was, but that they themselves were Cavaliers.
As a result, JCCC now has a living, breathing Cavalier on campus. The college’s Student Life and Leadership Development and Marketing Communications divisions purchased a Cavalier costume (in dark blue and gold, matching the college’s new official colors).
Jean Claude was unveiled to students, faculty and staff on Friday, Sept. 28, at a special welcoming event in front of the Student Center. He has his own Twitter and Facebook pages, and he encourages all JCCC fans to follow him.
Jean Claude is the creation of Maydwell Mascots Inc., in Toronto, Ontario, which has made hundreds of mascots for high schools, colleges, universities and businesses.
The legend of the JCCC Cavalier and the sword
How does an English soldier come to Kansas? Legend has it that a former history professor at JCCC owned a family heirloom – a sword that had once belonged to his ancestor, an English Cavalier, who had used it to defend his king in battle. Allegedly, years ago the professor lost the sword somewhere in the forested area on the college campus, and it hasn’t been seen since. There’s speculation that the ghost of the professor’s ancestor – the sword’s original owner – roams the woods searching for his missing blade. The Cavalier’s determined quest for his sword is reflected in the drive JCCC’s students and athletic teams show on the field, court and classroom.