Why are Mary Baldwin athletes called the Fighting Squirrels?
The squirrel was the central figure in the family crest of Mary Julia Baldwin, our school’s second founder who transformed the Augusta Female Seminary (established in 1842 by Rufus Bailey, our first founder) into a prosperous and innovative school in the years following the Civil War. It was natural, after the trustees renamed the school for Miss Baldwin, for the official seal and team name to incorporate the squirrel as well.
In heraldry the squirrel is a symbol of industriousness, trustworthiness, and preparation for the future. It also has been used to represent those with a love of the woods. In Nordic mythology, the squirrel is a symbol of the soul. These ancient meanings apply to Baldwin athletes who know that diligent work will pay off at game time and that their teammates depend on them — and equally apply to all Baldwin women (and men) who are disciplined in their focus, strive to do good in the world, work toward environmental sustainability, and seek wellness of body as well as soul.
Gladys, MBU’s mascot, makes sure there is ample fun incorporated with all the hard work. She regularly shows up to rally Baldwin spirit, not just at athletic competitions but at lots of important events including Orientation and Apple Day.
The Fighting Squirrels’ unusual team name has earned Mary Baldwin national attention, including mentions in NPR’s Only a Game, on ESPN and Animal Planet, and in newspapers throughout the country.