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Unmasking Iggy: A Look into Loyola’s Beloved Mascot

Unmasking Iggy: A Look into Loyola’s Beloved Mascot
Blessy Mbaya

For members of the Evergreen Campus, Iggy the Greyhound is a beloved figure, spreading school spirit and joy to all who cross paths with the mascot. Behind the green and gray costume, tail, and floppy ears, there are stories of the passionate students who brings Iggy to life. 

First come the legs which are a pair of adjustable suspenders at the base of the costume. Next comes Iggy’s tail, then his shorts. The body is a huge sweatshirt-like fabric representing the arms and chest. After comes the shoe covers with three straps to adjust to the wearer’s comfort. Last and most important is the head, a helmet-like device with a chin strap. One thing you may not have known is that the person inside sees out through Iggy’s open mouth. 

Lindsey Duquette ‘24 had prior experience as her elementary school’s mascot, along with interning at the Baltimore Zoo as their penguin, Fenn. She explained that she became inspired to get more involved on campus during President Sawyer’s inauguration last fall. When she saw that Loyola was looking to hire a new Iggy, she jumped at the opportunity. 

Lindsey Duquette

“I really love interacting with people as Iggy,” she said. 

Dancing to the music at each game and surprising fans are specific moments that hold a special place in her heart. Duquette enthusiastically continues her role as Iggy.

“I love getting to make people smile and make people laugh. It’s also amazing to see the legacy that Iggy and Loyola have. When interacting with the community, I am always greeted with open arms. I think that that really goes to show how much of an impact Loyola has on the Baltimore community,” she said.  

Through Duquette’s spirited embodiment of Iggy, she’s able to share a legacy of Loyola pride. 

Blessy Mbaya ‘23 knows all about that. Similar to Duquette, Mbaya gained his own unique mascot experiences throughout the years. He was the mascot of his high school and learned skills by performing at football and basketball games. As he graduated, he was featured in an article about high school mascots and mentioned his commitment to Loyola. 

Blessy Mbaya

Mbaya said, “My second week of classes, Loyola contacted me and asked if I would be interested in becoming the university mascot. I had nothing else better to do after classes, so I decided to go for it, and that’s how I became Iggy.”

As Iggy, Mbaya was invited to basketball games and community events along with other universities’ mascots. The Ravens mascot, Poe, attended these events as well. The turning point for Mbaya came this past August when the person in the Poe costume suffered from a torn ACL injury. This was during a preseason game. Mbaya was invited to try out for the position, and after a long ten-day wait he found out he had been hired. He encapsulated his role in both positions. 

“The way I approach mascotting is it’s always about the community. Now that I work for the Ravens, it’s just a bigger community that I get to serve on a daily basis. Seeing people’s faces light up as soon as I walk into the room is a feeling that will never go away.”

Lindsey Duquette

Although Blessy Mbaya has graduated, he explained that Iggy will always hold a special place in his heart. 

“Iggy to me is more than a mascot. I wanted to make every time the best experience for Loyola students and fans. Iggy means joy to a lot of people. Everyone’s Loyola experience is different, but one constant is Iggy.”

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