A new annual award is created, and WVU’s Mountaineer snags the first one.
The National Mascot Hall of Fame—yes, there’s a hall of fame for that—has created a Collegiate Best Live Human Mascot Award, and the WVU Mountaineer is the Inaugural winner. The Mountaineer is currently portrayed by Mary Roush of Mason, West Virginia, who will be presented with a “Golden Reggy” trophy—the Mascot Hall of Fame’s official mascot.
The National Mascot Hall of Fame is located in Whiting, Indiana, along the south shore of Lake Michigan and just 30 minutes from downtown Chicago.
We caught up with Roush and asked for her thoughts about mascotting and being the Mountaineer.
Q: What inspired you to want to be the Mountaineer?
Mary Roush: I have always loved West Virginia with my whole heart. I wanted to become the Mountaineer because it was my way to give back and represent the school and state that have given me so much.
Q: Who was your stiffest competition for the National Mascot Hall of Fame award?
MR: The Notre Dame Leprechaun. I would say they are the most famous live human mascot, other than the Mountaineer.
Q: What do you think makes a great mascot?
MR: The Mountaineer is a mascot unlike the rest. As a live human mascot, allowing people to see your personality and passion for what you stand for makes for a great mascot.
Q: What personal touches do you bring to the role?
MR: I try my best to embody the Mountaineer spirit while also staying true to myself, my personality, and my love for WVU and West Virginia.
Q: What is the best part of being the Mountaineer?
MR: The best part is the people you are able to meet and the places you are able to see. There is no better feeling than going to talk to an elementary school and knowing that you have touched those children’s lives forever.
Q: How was this football season for you, compared to your expectations?
MR: Even though we did not have a winning season, every single game was a win for me. The 12 times I got to run out with the Mountaineers were some of the best days of my life and a dream come true.
Q: As only the third lady Mountaineer, what does a woman bring to the role that is unique and special?
MR: I think a girl in the buckskins is great for representation and to show the younger generations that you can be the Mountaineer no matter what you look like. I try as the Mountaineer to be like the former Mountaineers before me and not change the position because of my gender.