Chryssi the Butterfly

We needed a mascot. After all, all our independent school clients have mascots. Everything from wildcats to gators to squirrels. Whether playful or fierce, they personify their institutions and are rallying points for their communities.

But deciding on a playful creature with just the right combination of characteristics was easier said than done. Maybe an agile and curious hummingbird? Or a long-necked giraffe taking the long view? How about an English-accented gecko that makes shopping for car insurance fun? (Just kidding about that last one)

We were addled by the breadth of our choices. Until by chance we talked with Chrissy, a bright-eyed, animated third grader with an insatiable curiosity about bugs. All sorts of bugs, from earth burrowing to crawling to free flying, Chrissy knew their story. On that day his story was about butterflies.

Did you know that although we think of them as delicate and ephemeral, some butterflies, monarchs in particular, undertake arduous migrations over thousands of miles? Or that the farthest ranging monarch butterfly was recorded to have traveled 265 miles in one day? Chrissy sure did.

But for Chrissy, their resilience and perseverance were nothing next to their amazing metamorphosis, transforming from simple eggs to unassuming caterpillars to humble pupae in protective shells before emerging as butterflies and spreading their glorious wings. We couldn’t imagine a better metaphor for campus master planning. Now we just needed a name. That’s when Chrissy informed us that butterflies’ protective exoskeletal shell is called a chrysalis… hmm…