“Cosmo: The Credential Cougar” exhibit draws students and faculty to BYU’s Education in Zion gallery


Cosmo the Cougar opened a new exhibit Thursday afternoon in the basement of Joseph F. Smith Building that not only showcases his ongoing career as BYU’s iconic mascot, but also teaches visitors about the “Aims of a BYU Education.”

An exhibition honoring BYU mascot Cosmo the Cougar opened Thursday in the JFSB

“Some of the students aren’t able to pull out the Aims at the tip of their tongue and maybe this exhibition will help to ‘brand’ the Aims,” Heather Seveforich, the exhibit educator and gallery curator, said.

Seveforich hopes that the 11 month photo exhibition will help the campus community understand the “Aims of a BYU Education” in a memorable way.

“The freshmen are taught the aims when they first come but by the time they graduate, they haven’t had a lot of repetition in some of the upper division classes,” Seveforich said.

The “Aims of a BYU Education” describe what students should strive toward while getting an education at the university, which should be not only intellectually enlarging, but also spiritually strengthening, character building and leading to lifelong learning and service.

The photography in the exhibit not only depicts Cosmo dancing with fans at football games and cartwheeling across the white lines of the field, but also shows Cosmo having fun while helping his fellow students and serving the community.

“Cosmo shows us that we can get more than just a degree; this gallery shows the fun side of what could be a more serious thing,” said Cali O’Connell, promotions and outreach program manager at the Harold B. Lee Library.

The gallery’s student employees, exhibit curators and others teamed up with the BYU Creamery to create the ice cream for the event. As the exhibit opened Thursday, volunteers served “Cosmo Crunch,” the blue, candy-coated chocolate pieces mixed into vanilla ice cream to the first 500 people in the gallery.

Silver paw prints lead visitors from the exhibit up the spiral stairs to the exhibition “Education in Zion,” where a variety of art pieces remind viewers of the importance of education and learning, and the “Aims of a BYU Education.”

Marie Bates, is an “Education in Zion” research assistant, closely involved in the exhibit.

“The gallery is such an amazing tool that we have right here in the middle of campus that people don’t really utilize as much as they should,” Bates said. “It’s an incredible gallery. It helps you appreciate why we’re here at BYU and the sacrifices that went into building it. The end goal is to get people to come here more often and get more out of it.”

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