Tarleton State University kicked off the spring 2017 semester Tuesday with the debut of a refreshed Texas Rider spirit mark.

Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio and Athletic Director Lonn Reisman unveiled the mark’s new look during a pep rally celebration in the Barry B. Thompson Student Center that featured the Texan Rider mascot, Foul Play — the university’s basketball band — and the cheer team.

Those present received shirts, caps and other items sporting the new logo.

“We are excited to launch the new Texan Rider,” Dottavio said. “This refresh of the old Texan Rider maintains our tradition while energizing Tarleton’s spirit. We are passionate Texans, and this updated spirit mark recognizes that passion.”

Designed by Rickabaugh Graphics—a nationally recognized collegiate branding firm in Ohio—the unveiling follows more than a year of talks with university leaders, students, faculty, staff and alumni. Final selection for the refreshed mark was based on an online survey last summer. More than 50 percent of the 3,000 who completed the survey responded favorably to the proposed logo options.

“The new mark establishes specific lettering for ‘Tarleton State University’ to be used with the Texan Rider image,” explained Dr. Kyle McGregor, vice president of advancement and external relations. “For occasions when the school’s name isn’t used, the new logo will include the university’s traditional block “T” on the Texan Rider’s saddle to distinguish it as a Tarleton logo.

“The old Texan Rider mark—created in the 1980s—contained no reference to Tarleton, nothing to identify it as a university logo,” he pointed out. “The refreshed mark makes it clear that the Texan Rider belongs to Tarleton.”

Merchandise with the new logo is for sale at the University Bookstore in the student center and Barefoot Campus Outfitter on Washington Street. Other area retail outlets plan to carry new Texan Rider items later this spring.