Picture this: It’s a chilly February morning on the Tivoli Quad. You’re standing with your arms stretched above your head and your feet hips-width apart. As you stretch out in an attempt to warm up, you notice you are surrounded by fellow students in neon running shoes and spandex. That was the scene at last Wednesday’s Milo Mile, the annual birthday celebration for our beloved mascot.
This was a milestone year: Milo turned 5.
Milo was developed by an official mascot committee comprised of representatives from the Student Government Association, the Club Sports program, and the offices of Student Life; Office of Inclusion and Outreach, Events and Alumni Relations; and University Communications. After many meetings and discussions involving the various stakeholders, Milo was given his name by CU Denver alumna Juliana Valera, MS. The name “Milo” combines the well-known nicknames “Mile High City” and “Lower Downtown” to promote the unique location of CU Denver in the heart of the city.
Read more about the development of Milo here.
It’s hard to believe Milo is already 5 years old, but it wasn’t surprising to see the CU Denver community gathered in celebration. The morning began with a group warm-up led by Milo himself, and then a one-mile run/walk around campus, with the CU Denver Cheer and Dance Team there to encourage the runners as they made their way to the finish line. Despite a chill in the air, it was incredible to be running as part of a larger campus community.
In fact, part of Milo’s job as the CU Denver mascot is to help build a sense of community – a space for students, faculty and staff to be a part of something bigger. In addition to Club Sports events, Milo spends much of his time at non-athletic events such as student spirit days, local charity events and even in area schools
At the finish line Milo awaited each runner with a congratulatory high-five as they joined in cheering on the remaining runners.
Bringing students, staff and faculty together
“I heard about the race at one of the Coffee Monday events,” said first-year student Riley Boston. “I wanted to get out into the community and be more active.” Events such as Coffee Mondays and the Milo Mile are just two of the ways the helps build campus community.
Fresh fruit and birthday cake rounded out the morning’s continental-style breakfast – the perfect way to replenish everyone’s energy. Registered attendees also received a Milo Mile T-shirt and a CU Denver travel mug.
After the CU Denver Cheer Squad performed in honor of the occasion, a couple of Milo’s Auraria Campus-based friends joined the fun – the CityHawk and Rowdy the Roadrunner. Getting together with old friends is always a celebration, but seeing Milo have fun with his friends was priceless.
“I thought it was awesome; we had a great turnout,” said CU Denver student Jesse Credit with the Office of Events and Partnerships. “I hope everyone had a great time, and we can’t wait until Milo’s 6th birthday.”