Blaze, the new San Juan College mascot, made his official debut on Friday, April 28th to a large crowd at the Learning Commons Plaza accompanied by a brigade of Fire Science students.

Blaze, the SJC Mascot makes his debut on campus.

He’s finally here. He has a head full of flames! He swaggers when he walks! He brings the HEAT to any competition! He was created by a lightning strike! He sets your education aflame! His enthusiasm cannot be doused! He sparks camaraderie and school spirit! He has a warm and sunny disposition! He motivates and drives success!

SJC Sun History

Those are just some of characteristics that describe Blaze, the new SJC mascot, who was introduced to the campus community in April. Even though the costume is new, the sun has been a part of SJC’s history since it became only the second independent junior college in New Mexico in 1982. That year proved to be a historic year for San Juan College. It formed the San Juan College Advisory Board, which eventually became the Board of Trustees. It established the name San Juan College and named Dr. James C. Henderson as the first president. In addition, the Farmington Daily Times and some local merchants also sponsored a contest to select colors and a mascot for their hometown community college. The winner was Dexter Irvin, SJC’s intramurals director, who suggested a sun for the mascot. So, the College Advisory Board approved the official SJC logo using brown, yellow and orange as the colors and the sun for the mascot. Although the logo and the school colors have gone through a few revisions since 1982, the sun has remained the official mascot.

Blaze Comes to Life

In late 2019, Dr. Pendergrass tasked the Marketing & Public Relations (MPR) department with creating a sun costume. They started researching costume companies, a design for a sun mascot and the cost of a costume. Then began working with Cowan Costumes in February of 2020. With the world-wide pandemic, costume materials were hard to acquire, and the process for creating a mascot was lengthier than originally anticipated. However, the MPR team kept moving forward. In addition to a mascot, they created a sports logo to debut with the college community. Overall, the diligence and attention to detail paid off in April when Blaze arrived on campus. It was apparent that Blaze was a good fit by the crowd’s reaction at the launch party. Attendees waved their purple and gray pom-poms, cheered and stood in line to get a photo with the new mascot. During the event, student volunteers from the Herencia Latina Center showcased the new mascot-related items available at the College Bookstore, while KSJE 90.9 FM On The Road conducted a live broadcast at the party. Student organizations gave out food and prizes. And most appropriately, Blaze was escorted into the party by Fire Science students.

Learn more on page six about how Blaze got his name. For information on how to request Blaze at events or to apply to be the SJC mascot, contact the Student Engagement and Campus Life office at 505-566-3403 or