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Vanguard Mascot

Adopted in 2015, the Vanguard mascot brings to life the spirit and traditions of Arkansas State University - Beebe. Van the Vanguard represents the culture of the college - "leading the charge" in all we do.

Named after the campus’s first student newspaper, which started around 1951, called "The Vanguard." The definition of Vanguard is a group of people who are leading the way to new developments or ideas. When adopted as the mascot, students expressed they liked the imagery of a mascot that depicts the school leading the charge in education.

Available to attend events, campus engagements, and outreach events on and off-campus, the mascot is the brand ambassador for the college and its vibrant student population.

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The earliest yearbooks on collection in the Abington Library are named "The Minuteman." The Minuteman was the official mascot of the Junior Agricultural School of Central Arkansas (now ASU-Beebe) from at-least 1949 (earliest known yearbook) to 1954. During this time, Beebe Junior College, as the school was locally called, had a track & field and basketball teams that bore the name of the college's mascot.

In 1955, the school became a branch campus of Arkansas State College (now Arkansas State University) and was renamed Arkansas State College (ASC)-Beebe Branch. With the new affiliation with the Jonesboro campus, the mascot changed as well. The Beebe Branch embraced the then Indians mascot of ASC renaming the yearbook "The Papoose" (a play on the Native American baby carrier) and renaming the male and female basketball teams the Indians and Indian Maids, respectively.

In 2011, Arkansas State University moved away from the Native American referenced mascot and adopted the "Red Wolves" as its official mascot. During this time, The ASU - System Board of Trustees authorized the system's various community colleges to develop their own brand identity separate from the "A-STATE" branding of the Jonesboro campus and the new Red Wolves mascot.

In 2013, ASU-Beebe held focus groups with students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders to gather opinions about all aspects of the rebranding, and an overwhelming amount of feedback showed blue was a favorite for one of the school’s new colors. After the college adopted a new color scheme of blue and gray with red accents, the institution turned to a professional marketing firm to develop the double "B" shield logo used today.

In 2014, the school looked back to its history for inspiration for a mascot to support the new brand. Through polling, school officials found out students were not interested in having an animal mascot. Several suggestions were considered but an employee suggested "Vanguard" was adopted. Named after the campus’s first student newspaper, which started around 1951, called "The Vanguard."

The definition of the vanguard is a group of people who are leading the way to new developments or ideas. In focus groups, students expressed they liked the imagery of a mascot that depicts the school leading the charge in education. The college held a campus and community-wide contest in the fall of 2014 for the design of the Vanguard mascot. Former Baptist Collegiate Ministries advisor Chad Miller of Beebe won the competition with the current design.

(Left) ASU-Beebe former marketing director presents new branding and a 1951 issue of the  "The Vanguard" newpaper. (right) Former Advancment officer Carol Johnson presents with designer Chad Miller the new Vanguard mascot design.

Unveiled on April 12, 2015, as the new spirit character of ASU-Beebe, Miller's depiction of the Vanguard was a stylized knight charging forward with sword drawn on a white horse. There is also a graphical design of a front-facing version of the character. The character is depicted in the university's new official colors.

Originally the college had plans to develop two mascot costumes — the currently used “family-friendly” or "caricature" of the mascot, and another planned to be designed by the school’s computerized design and welding departments. The second was thought to feature more of a medieval look and to utilize a horse owned by one of the veterinary technology instructors. The "real-life" armored mascot was never developed.

The “family-friendly” embodiment of the mascot, came to become Van the Vanguard. In the 2017 funding was provided to the Office of Student Life to promote the mascot and employ a student worker to serve as Van at college functions. Since the launch of the Vanguard mascot, the image and spirit of the Vanguard are synonymous with the brand and culture of ASU-Beebe

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The embodiment of the Vanguard mascot is "Van," Van serves as the official ambassador for ASU-Beebe's brand. Launched on April 12, 2015, "Van the Vanguard" plays an important role in providing a common identity amongst ASU-Beebe's four campuses and representing the college in its local communities.

Often found in his "suit of armor," Van is committed to serving alongside his fellow students, staff, faculty, and alumni to help ASU-Beebe "lead the charge" in post-secondary education across the region.

As a spirit character for Arkansas oldest community college, Van stays busy helping celebrate the success of our students, promoting the great opportunities provided by our faculty & staff, and representing the college in the community.

Van makes himself available for ribbon cuttings, celebrations, meet & meets, and event a few signing ceremonies. To request Van to attend your on/off-campus event, please complete the "Mascot Appearance Request Form" below.

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Request Timeline
All requests should be received at least five business days prior to the event. Requests will be responded to in one (1) to two (2) business days. Submitting a request does not guarantee an appearance.

In the event that an appearance must be cancelled, Student Life office personnel must give three (3) days prior notice.

Since our Mascot is a student, they are typically more available in the late evenings and on weekends. The Mascot is available for appearances throughout the year however we may be unable to complete requests during exam weeks or summer months.

Appearance Requirements
Accurate directions, location, on-site contact and on-site phone number must be provided.

On-site contact must be available to escort the mascot to and from their vehicle for security purposes.

A private and secure changing room must be provided for the mascot to change and keep belongings locked during the appearance. Bottled water must be provided to the mascot.

The mascot cannot be required to be inside the suit for longer than a maximum of one (1) hour at a time before taking a break. If the appearance is outdoors please allow breaks every thirty (30) minutes during that allotted time. The mascot is unable to perform in severe weather.

A friendly and safe environment must be maintained. Mascots reserve the right to walk away from any appearance deemed unsafe or harmful.

 If the mascot is available to attend an off campus event, they will need an adult to serve as full-time escort who can ensure that they have the following items:

  • A parking spot at the venue.
  • A private place to change (not a public restroom).
  • Drinking Water which is available at all times.
  • A reminder when their appearance time is over (Van cannot wear a watch).
  • A 15 minute break halfway through their appearance with water.

For on campus appearances, a site rep will be required to provide all of these items. We will do our best to provide a handler at all on campus appearances.

Publicity/Marketing Restrictions
The Vanguard Mascot and its image & likeliness is the property of the Arkansas State University -Beebe, a public institution of higher education. Any use or appearance of the Mascot can not be used for for-profit or private use. Any and all appearance requests which are not associated with a college or state/public supported institution function must be approved by the Executive Director of Marketing. Please submit requests of this nature AT LEAST ten(10) business days in advance of the event.

All publicity for the event, whether in advance or afterward, which mentions an appearance by a mascot or uses college marks (logos), must be approved by the Executive Director of Marketing before use. For approval please contact 501-882-8824.

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This is a mascot REQUEST form. By filling out this form, it does NOT guarantee you a mascot appearance. A representative from the Office of Student Life will follow up with you on your request within 5 business days.

Mascot Appearance Request Form


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Mascot Contact Information 

Zackery Tucker, Director of Student Life
Dr. Eugene McKay Student Center
1000 W Iowa Street
Beebe, AR 72012

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