History and Background of Mascots at MCLA
The history of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts mascot begins in the 1940s. One of the earliest mascots was Stacey, a doll that represented the college in 1940, as described in the yearbook:
Stacey is a little doll
A dog – or is it cat?
But Stacey is our mascot
And we don’t question that
Later in the same decade, the college used the name of Gremlins. Then, from the 1950s until 1963, the college nickname was the Professors. In 1963 North Adams State College adopted the name Mohawks which remained in place until 2002.
In 2002, following debate on campus and within the wider community, MCLA President Thomas Aceto announced that the college would discontinue use of the Mohawk name. This decision, based on the recommendation of the College Athletic Advisory Council, brought the college in line with the NCAA’s emerging policy on limiting the use of Native American mascots, nicknames and imagery. In that same year, the name Trailblazers was adopted, following a vote by students, alumni, staff, and faculty.
The Trailblazer name makes strong connections with the many historic and recreational trails that connect with the North Adams area; for example, the African-American Heritage Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, Mohawk Trail, Molly Stark Trail, Taconic Trail, and the Mount Greylock trail system.