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UNMC’s new mascot made official: The Labs

The UNMC Labs.

Thanks to a student-led initiative, the University of Nebraska’s academic medical center – known for producing not student-athletes, but student-health care leaders – has officially claimed the Labrador retriever as its mascot.

Although UNMC Labs gather on different fields than Cornhuskers, Mavericks and Lopers, Nicole Kent, student senate president and student regent at UNMC, said the mascot gives UNMC students “something that connects us and something to rally behind as a UNMC community.”

“I’m so excited to be a UNMC Lab,” she said.

Today, Kent and other student senate leaders will unveil the Lab mascot to UNMC students during Pups and Popsicles, a De-Stress Week event, scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon at the Ruth and Bill Scott Student Plaza green space. Therapy dogs from Paws for Friendship also will be on hand.

T-shirts featuring the mascot designed by UNMC Strategic Communications will be available to the first 100 students and the first 50 faculty or staff. T-shirts also will be sent to UNMC’s other campuses for distribution before graduation events. The UNMC Bookstore plans to have Lab apparel and other merchandise in the near future.

UNMC Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, said he was proud of the new UNMC mascot, especially since its creation was driven by UNMC student leaders.

“It’s a great day to be a Lab,” he said. “Our new mascot is a sign of student spirit at UNMC and, with its nod to our cutting-edge science, celebrates UNMC’s commitment to transforming lives in Nebraska and beyond.”

Kent said the idea for a mascot came about as UNMC student senate leaders were interacting with student colleagues from the other University of Nebraska campuses. It hit them that UNMC was the only campus without a mascot.

So last year, student senate leaders proposed a mascot contest as a way to build community among the students.

UNMC students can easily stay separated in their many different academic programs, Kent said. “We wanted something for students from all of our colleges and all of our campuses to be able to rally around.”

With the support of the Office of the Chancellor and Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, the students moved ahead. At the beginning of this school year, they opened a selection process for submissions, receiving almost 50 ideas.

Then, a student senate committee, working with UNMC Strategic Communications, narrowed the submissions to four finalists and polled students on their favorite.

Labs came out the clear winner.

The winning concept – of a dog wearing goggles and a white coat – was submitted by Caroline Seilstad, a UNMC graduate studies student, and is based on Ellie, a 16-year-old black Labrador that has attended campus events over the years. The graphic image of the Lab plays on UNMC’s clinical care and research, along with the dog breed’s loyal, curious and caring nature.

Designed under the auspices of the creative staff in UNMC Strategic Communications, the official Lab logo – with a dog wearing a lapeled white coat – is an image befitting any university mascot.

Said Kent, “We are honored to be the UNMC Labs.”


  1. Peggy Moore says:


  2. Dana El-Hajjar says:

    Great mascot! Very fitting to be unveiled during “Lab Week”-a celebration of laboratory professionals!

  3. Alexander Reed says:

    I am so excited for this!

  4. Elaine Barns says:

    I love it! I will wear this T-shirt proudly! As a dog lover, this warms my heart!

  5. Jon says:

    UNMC will always be the home of the Dogtors.

  6. Nicole Lindquist says:

    I love this! Gonna have to get a tshirt! Go Labs!!

  7. Jackie Nelson says:

    I absolutely love this! Of course, I am bias, I am a huge lab fan and actually raise registered labradors! I think we need a campus lab….it would totally raise morale!

    1. Ashlee Duffy says:

      Whiskey and Waffles agree!

      This brings me so much joy.

  8. Anne Lawlor says:

    Very cute mascot and I love that it was unveiled during Medical Laboratory Science Week!

  9. Kathy Trudell says:

    I’m so happy with the new UNMC Labs mascot!
    And announce during National Laboratory Professionals Week! Nice touch 🙂

  10. Indu says:

    Being a dog lover, this excites me so much!!! The UNMC labs!!

  11. Robin Jaeckel says:

    This is great we have a mascot. If “Labs” is our nickname (i.e. Cornhuskers/Huskers) should we have a name for the mascot (i.e. Herbie)?

    Shouldn’t the dog be given a name?

    1. Jeffrey Robb says:

      It’s Ellie!

  12. susan burbach says:

    THIS IS THE BEST!! Thanks to all who helped make it happen

  13. Ken Zoucha says:

    Best dogs on the planet! Gentle with children to a fault, yet fiercely protective. Loyal beyond words. Perfect for UNMC. Thanks to Ellie’s people for sharing her with us. Would love to see a real picture of her.

  14. Lisa Miles says:

    Excellent! Need site for Alumni to order as fundraiser for student scholarships.

  15. Mikaela says:

    How can we order a t-shirt?

    1. Jeffrey Robb says:

      Hi, Mikaela. T-shirts are on order for the UNMC Bookstore and should be available *soon*

Comments are closed.