Wellington, Central Washington University's mascot, will have two enthusiastic students sharing school spirit duties this year. For 2013-14, Ashley Martin and Ben Freeman have been selected to don the uniform of Central's most beloved Wildcat.
Scott Kazmi, vice president for Student Life and Facilities on the Associated Students of Central Washington University Board of Directors, made the hiring decision.
“I was looking for people with energy, who were outgoing and interested in meeting new people,” said Kazmi. “I was looking for a passion to promote the school and school spirit.”
Being a working Wellington is a part-time occupation, but requires a lot of flexibility on the students’ part, said Kazmi. “They are pretty much on-call.”
But the demands of the job are not to interfere with schoolwork—Wellington must earn a 2.0 GPA to maintain mascot status.
“It’s a big job—with big paws to fill,” said Kazmi. “Our new Wellingtons have already started work this summer, at the freshman orientation sessions.”
Freeman, an Ellensburg resident, was excited about becoming the furry face of the Wildcats. An Ellensburg High School graduate, Freeman was born in Sweden and moved to the United States as a young child. He is a junior at CWU, in the engineering/physics dual degree program.
“I wanted to get more involved with school events,” he said. “This is a great way to have fun, and be energetic and enthusiastic about Central.”
Most people really like Wellington, he continued, though he noticed that really little kids tend to be a bit fearful—“So I go a little easier around them so they won’t be scared.”
Freeman has already donned the uniform for freshman orientation, an English as a Second Language program party, and marched in the Rodeo Parade.
Ashley Martin, a senior in clinical psychology, is the other Wellington for CWU.
“I wanted a way to be involved and I figured it’s my last year here at Central so I might as well have some fun!” she said.
A self-proclaimed “military brat,” Martin has lived in many places, but calls Lacey her Washington hometown. She graduated from Timberline High School in 2010.
Martin said that her favorite part of the job was greeting all the little kids. “I really want to work with children after graduate school, and their faces and smiles always make the job worth it!”
“I love being Wellington,” she concluded. “Wellington is the essence of the love for Central and what it means to be a proud Wildcat.”
Media Contact: Valerie Chapman-Stockwell, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-1518, firstname.lastname@example.org