Reporter Mike Randall visited campus on April 6 to meet Garrity and learn more about his dream job at Daemen where he supports marketing efforts and has recently helped reinvent the institution’s mascot.
While COVID-19 brought on many challenges for higher education, complications with use of the Daemen mascot was a very unexpected one. While a full Willie Wildcat adult-sized costume is usually worn to help generate school spirit, the pandemic brought on concerns about its use by multiple people who could spread the virus, opening up an opportunity to think creatively about how to solve the problem.
This challenge led Garrity (who has an interest in, and knowledge about, puppetry) to suggest developing a Willie puppet, which was later created by puppet maker Adam Kruetinger. The new Willie has since been a big hit on social media and in commercials for Daemen, and has also allowed the college to make connections with a younger audience and the greater community.
Read the WKBW feature about Garrity and Willie.