With spring comes the thaw and the time of year when animals begin to stir from their winter slumber. Northwood Technical College’s Board, staff, and students recently received the exciting news that ‘Blaze the Bear’ had come out of hibernation to begin its new adventure as the mascot for Northwood Tech (formerly known as WITC).

Watch the reveal video:

Northwood Tech President John Will stated, “We’re really excited to announce the arrival of Blaze to the public and to start having Blaze appear at our campus events and student skills competitions. Blaze represents our students and symbolizes their hard work and resilience. We wanted a symbol to capture the spirit of our students and recognize their successes.”

Jena Vogtman, Associate VP of Marketing and Communications and Superior Campus Administrator, stated, “The mascot carries four themes. The bear represents quality as well as grit/resilience, which students felt represented the student body well. The name “Blaze,” short for “Trailblazer”, gives a nod to innovation and technology, as well as the student journey. The mascot costume portrays a determined and focused bear blazing a trail toward its goals, mirroring the 2D image developed last year of Blaze’s head.”

Northwood Tech thanks the Rebranding Leadership Task Force and the students for their active contribution in the process of choosing and determining the logistics of introducing a new mascot. The development of Blaze included a public process to collect name and mascot submissions, student-centered focus groups used to develop the desired mascot themes, the Task Force and Student Senate narrowing down the options from all submissions, and the entire student body participating in voting on the three finalists for Northwood Tech’s mascot this past spring. A follow-up subcommittee assisted in advising on the costume’s design, and the costume was delivered to the college in the early spring 2022 term.

The reveal video for Blaze will be posted on the Northwood Tech Facebook and Instagram accounts for public viewing. Be sure to follow both social media platforms for Northwood Tech to keep up with Blaze’s adventures as the bear navigates its new status at Northwood Tech.

Northwood Tech is grateful to all its community partnerships. Your support of the Northwood Tech Foundation is essential to student success. For information on how to contribute, visit here.


A nationally top-ranked college and a designated 2021-22 Military Friendly® School, Northwood Tech serves the educational and career needs of more than 15,000 residents of Northwestern Wisconsin each year. With multiple campuses, Northwood Tech offers career-focused associate degree programs, technical diplomas, short-term certificates, customized business training, and a wide array of courses for personal or career enrichment. Northwood Tech is a member of the Wisconsin Technical College System and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (www.hlcommission.org). For more information, call 800.243.9482 or visit northwoodtech.edu. Northwood Technical College is an Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Veterans/Disability Employer and Educator.


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