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The cat’s out of the bag: Wanda WildCat gets a makeover

The new Wanda WildCat on front campus

The new Wanda WildCat on front campus

Wanda WildCat has been cheering on Randolph’s students and getting into mischief on campus for more than two decades. She can often be found wandering campus, giving high-fives, studying with students, and even dressing up like President Bateman. However, rumor has it she’s been feeling her age recently (it’s been nearly 15 years since her last costume replacement).

Sources report seeing a tired, dejected cat making her way recently to a local spa for a complete—and much-needed—makeover.

That makeover was apparently witnessed by several Randolph staff, and on Monday, the College released a documentary of her journey at nearby Acorn Hill Lodge and Spa, where the stylists generously agreed to spend a day with Wanda (the video was produced by Randolph’s Office of College Relations in collaboration with Rayolight Productions).

Wanda had a blast and left “feline” fine and ready to kick the academic year off in style. She wasn’t available for comment for this story—word has it the cat might have gotten her tongue.

“Wanda’s a great cat who works hard every day, when she’s not napping, of course,” said Randolph President Bradley W. Bateman. “She definitely deserved a trip to the spa to relax and rejuvenate. I did hear from her after the makeover, and I can report that she was thrilled with the results and can’t wait for all of our students to get back to campus. She’s the same fun and crazy Wanda, just with a new look!”

Randolph officials report that the makeover was the result of months-long design process with The Mascot Company, an organization that designs costumes for mascots in the NHL, NFL, NCAA, and other sports teams and schools across the globe. After focus groups and feedback from students, Wanda’s new look was chosen, and the costume went into design. Gone were the pointy whiskers, worn out fur, and scary teeth. The new outfit features a more user-friendly design, machine washable fur, and friendlier (but still plenty fierce) expression.

One of the few female mascots in the country without a male counterpart, Wanda WildCat (the W and C pay homage to Randolph’s history as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College) was “born” in the 1980s. However, the first “real” mascot was introduced to campus in 1998 at a basketball game. The mystery Wanda, played by the current president at the time, sauntered onto the court to the cheers of fans.

Since that time, Wanda has attended sporting events, helped welcome new students on move-in days, and even performed in The Show. Like most cats, her curiosity often gets her into trouble. She has entertained students with her antics over the years, including hijacking and driving a campus safety vehicle, dressing as President Bateman for Halloween, and rappelling down the side of the Bank of the James building in downtown Lynchburg for a local nonprofit fundraiser.

Word on the street is that she plans to reveal her new style in person on move-in day, Wednesday, Aug. 28. Make sure to keep an eye out for her!

Watch the video of Wanda’s makeover below:

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