The University of Miami athletic department unveiled a modernized version of its vintage Sebastian the Ibis mascot logo this week.
The white ibis, a long-legged bird that folklore maintains is the last wildlife to take shelter before a hurricane and the first to reappear after it passes, was chosen as Miami’s unofficial mascot and the name of the school yearbook in 1926.
It became a fixture at football games in 1958 when student John Stormont first performed in a homemade costume, which he called “Icky.” The mascot was later renamed after San Sebastian Hall, the residence hall on campus where Stormont lived.
The original Sebastian the Ibis logo, which was created in 1984, sported a corncob pipe, a bandage on his cheek, a white sailor hat with “Hurricanes” wordmark and an oversized orange crewneck sweater with a Block “M” on front.
Sebastian was updated in 2000 to match the football team’s uniforms, with orange and white piping against his green sweater. The Block “M” was also replaced with a “Miami” wordmark, while the hat prominently displayed the iconic Split “U” logo.
Miami returned to the original Sebastian logo in 2019, albeit without the pipe in his mouth. In response, students actually started a petition to change the pipe to a JUUL, a once-popular e-cigarette product that looks similar to a flash drive.
The latest update, meanwhile, places a script “Hurricanes” wordmark on the sailor hat and the Split “U” on Sebastian’s sweater, which fits better around the anthropomorphic hands. It also features bolder lines and an overall cleaner design.