The Groundhog sweatshirt of 2020

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Photo by Anthony Mazur

The humble groundhog may not register on many people’s radars as a cultural icon. Here at the University of Dallas, of course, the groundhog fulfills perhaps the most famous line of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night:” 

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

Shakespeare aficionados may know that “Twelfth Night” also serves as the inspiration for this year’s quote. In Act 2, Scene 3 of the comedy, the rowdy Sir Topas addresses the “puritanical” steward Malvolio, who attempts to kick out the group of revelers, asking “Dost thou think because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?”

Francis Villanueva, a senior English major with a printmaking minor, designed the 2020 Groundhog sweatshirt graphic. As the Campus Activities Board (CAB) marketing intern, he has been in charge of designing posters and t-shirts for events like Fall Fest and Oktoberfest.

Although Villanueva was the master behind the design, he emphasized the teamwork that was required to create the sweatshirts in CAB. 

“The quote was a group effort, we all chose it from submissions from students,” he explained. “We thought it had the spirit of UD Groundhog.”

“We have a form where any student can submit quotes,” Isabelle Smith, Traditions Intern for CAB, explained for the process behind the quote. “Then the Groundhog Committee, which is comprised of CAB interns along with some OSA [Office of Student Affairs] staff vote for the quote.”

Even the groundhog design became a group effort as the project developed.

“For the character design, we were headed in a whole different direction at first. I was going to try to go in a sort of whimsical, like magic-groundhog-type weird thing. But everyone agreed that it was kind of too out there—and I realized it was too,” Villanueva said with a laugh. 

“Isabelle Smith suggested that we go in a more vintage collegiate different direction, and I really liked that,” he continued. “I kind of wanted to make it look like an old Mickey Mouse cartoon.”

As a printmaking minor, Villanueva hopes that his handmade design might raise awareness for the UD printmaking program. 

“They’ve got a lot of amazing professors, good programs, awesome facilities, and anyone can take the classes, which is really cool,” he said. “People should really take advantage of that.”

In his last year at UD, Villanueva looked forward to seeing his whole community together at Groundhog one last time. 

“I was glad to be able to contribute to such a big UD tradition,” he said.

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