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Welcome to the official website for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign's leading mascot candidate: The Belted Kingfisher!


Naturally True to the Orange and Blue, the Kingfisher can unify school spirit, guide the creation of new traditions, and become a mascot embraced by all members of the Illinois family.

Why the Kingfisher?

The University of Illinois deserves a mascot as fierce and vibrant as our students, alumni, and community members. As a year-round resident of Champaign parks, ponds, and rivers, the Belted Kingfisher would serve as a unique mascot future generations of Illinois alumni can proudly call their own.

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Passed with Flying Colors

With resounding support from faculty and student senators, the Campus Senate endorses the Kingfisher and encourages action from University administration.


The Illinois Student Government unanimously endorses the Kingfisher as the next mascot of the University of Illinois and firmly requests action from the University.

Public Endorsements

The Kingfisher gains traction among public interest groups, students, and alumni as its social media interactions increase and endorsement letters begin trickling in.

People like you are absolutely crucial in helping to spread the word on the bird!


Alumni Organization Created

The Kingfisher promised to unite students, community members, and alumni. With student support now confirmed, the Illinois Alumni for the Kingfisher took flight to prove that the Kingfisher has cross-generational appeal.

Students Clamor for New Mascot

2011: A campus survey revealed that 85% of 11,440 student respondents were in favor of some form of mascot change

2018: Mascot proposals like the Alma Otter gained traction but ultimately failed to carry a student referendum vote


Unique Proposal Takes Flight!

2019: Spencer Hulsey introduces the Belted Kingfisher as a mascot proposal, and imaginations everywhere are captured! The Illinois Student Government unanimously voted to add a mascot referendum the spring election ballot.


Student-Wide Vote Passes

Mascot Proposal

2020: A majority of student voters said YES to the question: "Should the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign adopt the Belted Kingfisher, an orange-and-blue bird native to Illinois, as the mascot for the University?"

Why we need a mascot

Mascots are more than just a courtside character.

Mascots serve as a unifying symbol of school spirit and create enduring bonds between students and members of our community. Our University's near two-decade gap without a mascot has impeded developing these shared traditions. The Kingfisher's goal is to enhance existing traditions and develop new ones in a way that is accessible and enjoyable for everyone!

The Kingfisher does not intend to replace traditions, but rather:

  • create new and lasting memories for our students

  • provide a lasting representative for our school with controlled and consistent branding

  • serve as a university liaison during community and student events

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