Quick Links

Name the Beast Contest

The Old Testament book of Genesis chronicles how Adam “gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.”

In other words, the beasts.

Beacon students, faculty, staff — and some parents too — recently took up a similar, if less overwhelming, task: dreaming up a forename for a student-created sculpture.

Staged in late fall, the “Name the Beacon Beast” contest “was a unique spirit-building experience for our students at the Center for Student Success, and it got everyone involved,” said Gina Vinson, a learning specialist at Beacon College, a nonprofit liberal arts school in Leesburg, Fla. “We had parents submit suggestions as well over Parent’s Weekend. It also gave us a chance to support and display a Beacon artist’s work.”

Barnabas the Beast During the 2016-17 school year, student David Neal crafted the gargoyle. His creation eventually took up residence in the lobby of the Center for Student Success. Marlene O’Toole, then acting supervisor of Beacon’s learning specialists, suggested the carved foam and epoxy putty critter — a classic strong, silent type — needed a name.

And the “Name the Beacon Beast” contest was born. To better pair a name with the nameless creature, students visited the Center for Student Success in droves for a quick looksee on the way to visiting their learning specialists, Vinson said.

In the end, the contest yielded better than 100 entries. Contestants pitched names such as El Diablo, Sherman, Elvis, and Vinson’s second favorite, “The Beaconator.”

Still, none of the handles fit Neal’s mini-me except one: … Barnabus.

It was Sarah Brown of Sherrills Ford, NC who named the beast.

Her winning moniker earned Brown a gargoyle-adorned trophy and a face-to-face meeting with President George Hagerty.

As for Barnabus — affectionately known as Triple B or BBB (Beacon’s Beast Barnabus) — he remains in beast mode. Barnabus dutifully stands sentry in the Center for Student Success, perhaps thinking of Victor, Hugo, and Laverne.