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Tech’s original Golden Eagle mascot dies

Published: Thursday, January 31, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 31, 2013 22:01

First Eagle


Max Alderson, the first Golden Eagle mascot, sports a hand-made costume during a University event.

Tech’s first Golden Eagle mascot, Max Alderson, 70, died Thursday afternoon following health complications and cancer.

Alderson served as Tech’s first Golden Eagle mascot during the 1961, 1962 and 1963 athletic seasons. Alderson returned to Tech as Golden Eagle during this year’s Homecoming festivities.

“To me, once I had dressed in the costume, I was the Golden Eagle mascot,” Alderson said in an October interview with Quenna Jones, Tech News Director. “It was not Max Alderson dressed for Halloween or for a costume party, I became a majestic creature that represented a tradition that began in 1925 with the selection of the Golden Eagle as a mascot.”

According to a press release, Alderson made his first appearance as Golden Eagle when he and Tech cheerleaders John Peters and Leslie “Sam” Stuart had a spur-of-the-moment idea to have a mascot for the annual Turkey Day game on Thanksgiving against Middle Tennessee State College, now Middle Tennessee State University.

The trio borrowed a paper-mache eagle’s head from a Homecoming float constructed by the industrial technology department, made of chicken wire, the release said.

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