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The next Melrose

Recent Widener graduates may not have realized that they received their diplomas with a famous member of the Widener University community, someone they have taken pictures with and hugged at Widener events. Someone who brought a smile to their faces.

Hannah Robinson, the student behind the Melrose mascot costume for the past four years, graduated on May 17. A month earlier she participated as a judge to find the next student who could fill her shoes and become the new Melrose.

For Hannah, the Melrose mascot tryout was not just a look toward the future, but also an opportunity to reflect on her time at Widener. The nursing major has been the mascot for the past four years, and Melrose is very much a part of her.

“I’m going to miss taking pictures with fans and being able to jump around and act like a big kid without being judged. I’m going to miss being able to show my passion,” she said after the tryouts.

When asked what she thought of the three students who tried out, she said, “I thought the tryouts were awesome. It was very cool to see that Melrose’s legacy will continue.”

Melrose is one of two lion mascots who represent the Widener Pride. Chester is the other. They were introduced in 2008 when the university’s mascot was changed from the Pioneer.

Along with Hannah, the judges were another peer and two faculty members. Each participant had two minutes to perform a rehearsed routine as Melrose.

The judges laughed and cheered as the participants performed, and for the first time, Hannah got to stand up and hug Melrose. 

“I think it would be so much fun to go out and support Widener and have school spirit while doing something like this. I think it’s very cool,” said freshman Christine Lombardo, a psychology/pre-physical therapy major who tried out and was chosen to be the next Melrose.

The competition winner receives a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to train with the Phillie Phanatic.