As Part of Bicentennial Celebration, University Debuts New-And-Improved Jefferson Rams Mascot

PHILADELPHIA (MARCH 5, 2024) – At a Tuesday afternoon pep rally for the playoff-bound Rams’ women’s and men’s basketball teams, Thomas Jefferson University’s mascot “Phil the Ram” re-emerged from a lengthy absence from public view.

He was met by a raucous crowd at the event inside the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center, where the nationally ranked women’s team was scheduled to face off against the Bridgeport Purple Knights in the first round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoffs. Prior to that, the men’s team will also host the Felician University Golden Falcons in the opening round. (Both teams are the No. 1 seed in their respective brackets.)

“Phil is our identity in athletics. We are the Rams. If you say the Rams on the street, most people know that's us, so I think our student athletes really enjoy that. Anytime there's a visual presence of the Ram, it's a special event,” says Tom Shirley, head women’s basketball coach and assistant vice president of athletics. “There's been a void. Phil has been missed. The people who come to our athletic events will glad to see Phil back.”

The “story” behind Phil’s absence and return can be traced to a sledding accident after which countless friends and experts at the University banded together to get the mascot back up on his feet, sporting a new “bionic horn.” Helping reimagine the character was none other than the original Phillie Phanatic, David Raymond, whose Raymond Entertainment Group helps design, train and guide new mascots onto the scene.

Watch: Phil the Ram Debut Video

“To be able to be connected to Thomas Jefferson University and Phil the Ram has been a really joyful time for me,” says Raymond. “Seeing Phil in his full form now is really wonderful. I couldn’t have been more excited for the Jefferson community to meet him.”

Also ecstatic to talk about Phil’s return was Dr. Susan Aldridge, the University’s interim president who called the mascot out into the public eye for the first time in month’s at the pep rally.

“Phil represents strength and resilience,” she says. “He's a champion for our teams, for all of us, and he's an ambassador to the community.”

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In January, Jefferson launched "#Jefferson200," a year-long bicentennial celebration marking two centuries of excellence in higher education, healthcare, and commitment to our community. "Creating Our Third Century" is the theme for a series of community initiatives, events and groundbreaking announcements planned throughout 2024.