Campus Goes Nuts for Squirrels

by Emily Walker '07

I feel a special connection to the Scripps stuffed squirrels when I reflect on my time at Scripps, because their unexpected success has mirrored my own. I am one of a handful of women at Scripps who is able to proudly proclaim herself a mid-year transfer. Being a mid-year transfer is difficult-it is harder to meet people, and much harder to get involved. This challenge made me strive to try for positions and opportunities on campus that I may not have otherwise considered, and I decided to apply for the position of inventory manager at the Scripps Store. The opportunity to design and order items representing Scripps College seemed too fun and unique to pass up. My initial nervousness gave way to excitement after I got the job.

Wanting to inject a sense of freshness and playfulness in new items, the management team and I set out to try and find a new symbol for the College that would be fun for items in the Store.

Anyone who has visited the Scripps campus is aware of our bustling squirrel population. They’re constantly darting in front of you on your way to class or barking at you from the trees on Elm Tree Lawn. It only seemed natural that they should become the new unofficial mascot of the College. It took many samples of stuffed squirrels until we stumbled across the perfect one. One seemed angry, and one had a strange elongated nose.

Then, the perfect squirrel arrived. He was small, brown, and looked like he wanted to be held-the managers and I could not resist him. We decided that it would be best to start slowly-a small order of stuffed squirrels would be our test run. After the Store sold out in one day, we got more playful in our usage of the squirrels. We now have pants with squirrels, shirts with squirrels-tastefully done, of course and the classic stuffed squirrel.

The squirrels serve as a reminder, for me at least, that inspiration can come from the most unexpected places, and that a little playfulness can help overcome challenges.

To see more Scripps clothing and novelty items, visit www.scrippscollege.edulstore. (The store will reopen late August.)