Students approach the stainless steel “Feather Star” sculpture outside EvCC’s Parks Student Union building earlier this week. Created by artist Ali Baudoin, the sculpture survived the Feb. 16, 1987, fire that destroyed the old Trojan Union Building and killed an Everett firefighter. Now the Feather Star is the college’s official three-spire logo. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Students approach the stainless steel “Feather Star” sculpture outside EvCC’s Parks Student Union building earlier this week. Created by artist Ali Baudoin, the sculpture survived the Feb. 16, 1987, fire that destroyed the old Trojan Union Building and killed an Everett firefighter. Now the Feather Star is the college’s official three-spire logo. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

New EvCC Trojan: The makeover incorporates symbol of rebirth

College keeps Feather Star, an image of sculpture that survived fatal ’87 fire, as its official logo.

There’s a new face at Everett Community College, ready to greet students starting fall quarter classes Monday. An updated Trojan design — an emblem of determination, inclusion and pride — includes an image signifying rebirth, born of a sad chapter in campus history.

First, about that Trojan. The mascot was chosen in 1942 by a vote of Everett Junior College students. The losing choices, according to a Feb. 13, 1942, article in the college’s Clipper newspaper, were “E.J. Seahawks, Loggers, Grizzlies, Pilots, Aces and Cascadians.”

Created by Jeremy Slagle of Ohio-based Slagle Design, the new Trojan is EvCCs latest version of ancient figures in plumed helmets. The mascot has been shown through the years in exacting and abstract ways, with and without a sword.

Students will see the new symbol, with EVERETT TROJANS in beveled letters, on gray banners in campus parking lots and outside Shuksan Hall. Soon, they’ll go up on Broadway in north Everett.

“We had a lot of students who felt they wanted a logo a little more representative of them. It was time to do a little refresh,” said Jennifer Rhodes, EvCC’s associate dean of Student LIFE. A committee that included athletes and other students weighed in, and there was an online survey.

The new Trojan design (right) is Everett Community College’s symbol of student spirit and athletics. Different versions have been used since the Trojan mascot was chosen by students in 1942. (Courtesy Everett Community College)

The new Trojan design (right) is Everett Community College’s symbol of student spirit and athletics. Different versions have been used since the Trojan mascot was chosen by students in 1942. (Courtesy Everett Community College)

The new Trojan isn’t clearly of either gender. Its skin tone is pale gray. “We didn’t want to represent ethnicity or race,” Rhodes said. “Anybody can be a Trojan.’

With or without a makeover, the Trojan is not the college’s official logo. That is the Feather Star — three spires that appear in red or white on signs throughout campus. The logo, used for college business, is on a big sign southbound drivers see while passing EvCC on Broadway. It’s also part of the new Trojan — the cape.

Those spires are often mistaken for mountains or sails, said Katherine Schiffner, EvCC spokeswoman. They actually point to a tragic episode in Everett’s past.

On the night of Feb. 16, 1987, an arsonist’s fire destroyed the old Trojan Union Building, which housed the library. “Feather Star” is artist Ali Baudoin’s sculpture — three slightly curved stainless steel spires — that in the 1970s was installed in an atrium of EvCC’s library.

The blaze took the life of Gary Parks, an 18-year veteran of the Everett Fire Department. The firefighter was memorialized through the naming of the Parks Student Union building, and with a bronze sculpture and plaque on campus. The arson is an unsolved case.

A 1987 Herald photo shows “Feather Star” surrounded by rubble, a survivor amid the ashes. The sculpture inspired by a crinoid sea creature (look it up) is now outside the Parks Student Union. A slight bend at the top of one spire was caused by the fire.

“Feather Star,” a stainless steel sculpture by artist Ali Baudoin, amid the rubble of the Feb. 16, 1987, fire that destroyed the old Trojan Union Building that housed the EvCC library. The fire killed Gary Parks, an Everett firefighter. The sculpture became the inspiration for the college logo. (Frank Varga / Herald file)

“Feather Star,” a stainless steel sculpture by artist Ali Baudoin, amid the rubble of the Feb. 16, 1987, fire that destroyed the old Trojan Union Building that housed the EvCC library. The fire killed Gary Parks, an Everett firefighter. The sculpture became the inspiration for the college logo. (Frank Varga / Herald file)

“It’s a highlight of any campus tour,” said Schiffner. More than 8,700 students are registered for fall quarter, she said.

Calling the sculpture “a symbol of rebirth and renewal,” Schiffner added, “when we get knocked down, we get back up and try again.” The three-spire image is “a great element of that Trojan — it’s not the USC logo, it’s ours.”

The $9,500 Trojan redesign cost was split between the EvCC Foundation and Student LIFE, she said.

Garet Studer, EvCC’s director of athletics, said the new Trojan will be incorporated into all uniforms, but that will take about three years. The symbol will be broken down, with just a beveled “word mark” that says “Everett” or “Trojans” on some uniforms. “All of our teams will have a consistent look,” he said.

Already, the spirit mark is on shirts in the college bookstore, said Rhodes, who also saw it on a bumper sticker.

The three red spires seen here at the Parks Student Union building are Everett Community College’s official logo. It can be seen throughout the campus. The design was inspired by “Feather Star,” a stainless steel sculpture that survived a 1987 fire that destroyed the previous student union. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

The three red spires seen here at the Parks Student Union building are Everett Community College’s official logo. It can be seen throughout the campus. The design was inspired by “Feather Star,” a stainless steel sculpture that survived a 1987 fire that destroyed the previous student union. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Slagle, the designer, spent a couple days on campus, meeting with representatives from EvCC’s Diversity and Equity Center and others. Rhodes said the college has “amazing graphic designers,” but it was important to find one with a sports marketing background.

Rhodes hopes everyone on campus feels part of Trojan Nation, the school’s spirit program.

“We want people to feel very proud of being a Trojan — whether they’re in athletics or one of our 45 clubs,” she said. “They may never set foot in the gym for an athletic game, but man, they still have that spirit.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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