Approximately 1,500 pairs of bald eagles choose to nest in the Sunshine State, making Florida one of the densest nesting populations among the lower 48 states (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2023). Because of their prevalence in the county, Polk State College selected the eagle as its mascot in 2011 and named him Charlie (Polk State College, 2011). This was a change from the original Viking mascot and heralded in a locally-based image for the college (Toothman, 2011).
Graphic designer Geoff Hoskins (2023) has created several versions of Charlie to reflect various Polk State College programs. Charlie has been depicted in graduation regalia, as a coach, an athlete, a pilot, a nursing student, a surfer, and more. Please visit Geoff Hoskin's page on the Polk State Mascot to see the many versatile sides of our eagle!
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. (2023). Bald eagles. https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bald-eagle/
Hoskins, G. (2023). Polk State mascot. https://www.geoffhoskins.com/#/polk-state-mascot
Polk State College. (2011). Polk State College history. https://polkstatecareers.silkroad.com/pscexternal/About_Us/Company_History.html
Toothman, M. (2011, July 28). Polk State College rebrands itself as the Eagles. The Ledger. https://www.theledger.com/story/news/2011/07/28/polk-state-college-rebrands-itself-as-the-eagles/26441452007/