Four students who are eager to represent West Virginia University and their home state as the next Mountaineer Mascot will compete in a cheer-off during the men’s basketball game vs. Oklahoma at 4 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 29) in the WVU Coliseum.
Selected by a committee of faculty, staff and students based on an essay and interview, the finalists will be judged on their performance and interaction as they lead the crowd in traditional game day cheers.
The West Virginia natives come from a variety of academic backgrounds and share a passion for service, a commitment to extracurricular activities and the Mountaineer spirit.
The 2020-21 Mountaineer Mascot finalists are:
Brooke Ashby, from Mannington, is a junior communication sciences and disorders major minoring in psychology. She serves as the vice president of Autism Speaks U and is an active member of the Mountaineer Maniacs and Alpha Omicron Pi, where she has held various leadership positions. Ashby has completed more than 150 service hours at WVU Medicine as a NICU cuddler, student volunteer in the oncology unit and a four-year term as the Monti Bear mascot. She also served as the Husky mascot while a student at North Marion High School.
“I have wanted to be the Mountaineer for as long as I can remember and I can’t imagine a better way to represent the 1.8 million people of my beloved state,” Ashby said. “I would be incredibly humbled and grateful to give back to the place that has given me so much.”
Hunter Ayers, from Moorefield, is a senior communications studies major with an emphasis in organizational and interpersonal communications. He serves as a member of the Mountaineer Maniacs, Lambda Phi Eta and the Undergraduate Communication Association. Ayers has been on the President’s and Dean’s lists and is the recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award. He is also a former member of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program and volunteers his time to the McCoy’s Grand Theater and Museum in Moorefield.
“Being chosen as the next Mountaineer Mascot would be a dream come true,” Ayers said. “I could not think of a better way to demonstrate my immense pride for WVU and the great state of West Virginia.”
Christopher “Connor” Capron, from Sutton, is a sophomore music therapy major minoring in Appalachian music. He is a member of the WVU Marching Band, WVU Bluegrass Band and the Men’s Choir. Capron is also a member of the Student Music Therapy Association and Kappa Kappa Psi. He volunteers his time to the Mountaineer Food Bank and serves as a volunteer through his hometown church to assist with Impact Week, a week-long summer event that promotes community-wide service projects in Braxton County.
“Being selected as the Mountaineer would be an outstanding achievement as a West Virginian and I would be sure to uphold the position to its fullest potential in order to make the great state of West Virginia proud,” Capron said.
Colson Glover, a member of the Honors College from Lewisburg, is a sophomore neuroscience major minoring in wildlife and fisheries resources. He serves as an undergraduate researcher with the School of Medicine and a tutor for student-athletes and in the Department of Biology. Glover is also an active member of the WVU Pre-Med Club and volunteers his time to WVU Medicine Children’s and trail clean up at the Core Arboretum. He is the recipient of the PROMISE Scholarship and High School Student Body Presidents Scholarship.
“I am a proud West Virginian who has ‘Old Gold and Blue’ in my DNA,” Glover said. “There would be no bigger honor than for me to serve my state and university while showing the world why West Virginia is termed ‘Almost Heaven’”
The selection committee will announce the winner during the WVU men’s basketball game vs. Baylor on March 7. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.