Mercer County Grad Having Good Time With ‘Alma Otter;’ Mascot Idea Draws Plenty of Attention At U-of-I

The original “Alma Otter” image that was posted to social media site Reddit.

As the University of Illinois debates the future of a new mascot to replace “Chief Illini,” a Mercer County High School grad is among a group of three U-of-I students receiving plenty of attention. Their idea started as a joke—“Alma Otter”—but now it’s got the campus community buzzing. Austin Lindell of Aledo and classmates John Falwick and Connor Latham came up with the concept, which was featured in a segment on Illini Radio Network flagship station WDWS.

Lindell is a 2016 Mercer County High School graduate. U-of-I students this week are being asked about “Alma Otter” in a non-binding referendum.

WRMJ News Director Jim Taylor caught up with Austin Lindell Thursday morning.