The winner of the University of Tartu mascot contest has been announced

At the end of the year, the university’s mascot contest was held. In the public vote that lasted until 16 December, all members of the university community could choose between three mascot designs shortlisted by the evaluation committee. Now, after all the votes have been counted, the design Tiksu can be declared the outright winner of the contest.

The top three designs that made it to the public vote were the Owl by Markus Tamm, the Fox by Hanna Marii Ilves and Tiksu by Lennart Rikk. When analysing all the submissions, the committee of the mascot contest valued the semiotic, cultural and historical background of the designs.

“It was hard to choose the three best from among all the submissions. We started by excluding some: we did not want a mascot already used in another institution. Then we chose the own and the fox, as both have a strong symbolic link to education and the university. Tiksu stood out among the designs by its originality, so we decided to show that design to the public, as well,” said a member of the evaluation committee Trine Tamm. According to the legend, Tiksu is an exotic bird that is said to have accompanied students at the window of a lecture hall during three autumn and spring semesters.

In total, members of the university community cast 1,597 votes: 922 went to Tiksu, 390 to the fox and 285 to the owl. All votes were checked and the relationship of all voters to the university was verified.

The manager of the mascot project, UT Specialist for Marketing Mariana Tulf said that now close cooperation starts with Tiksu’s author. “We will develop the design further and very soon the sewing of the mascot can start. We are hoping to introduce Tiksu to the university community already in the spring semester. The mascot will represent the university community at various events, such as the Open Doors Day, alumni get-together, sports days and the Rector’s Cup Golf Tournament,” said Tulf.

The mascot aims to increase the cohesion of the university community, support the achievement of the goals of the university and, among other activities, help to popularise education and research.

“I am glad that now the University of Tartu also has its own symbolic character who can accompany the university members everywhere they go,” added Trine Tamm. “The fact that the mascot contest attracted nearly one hundred submissions proves that the mascot was very much needed. I sincerely hope that Tiksu will be warmly welcomed and become part of our close-knit academic community,” said Tamm.

Further information: Mariana Tulf, University of Tartu Specialist for Marketing, 737 6271,