Alumni Plaza the center of the Dowagiac campus


Matt Collins, Dr. Joe

Matthew Collins, SMC Information Technology Support Manager and a Young Professionals member, and President Dr. Joe Odenwald with Roadrunner ornament

SMC Roadrunner Featured on Dowagiac Ornament

Published on December 1, 2022 - 5 p.m

Southwestern Michigan College’s reborn Ronnie Roadrunner mascot is featured on the Young Professionals of Greater Dowagiac’s 10th-anniversary ornament.

Ronnie’s new green-and-gold look replaced orange plumage and coincided with SMC’s five-time national-champion cross-country team running again in 2021 after a 25-year hiatus.

This fall completed the rebirth of SMC Athletics with intercollegiate men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and men’s wrestling returning, plus the addition of bass fishing, the Ladybirds women’s competitive dance team and a pep band.

SMC became the Roadrunners in 1968, inspired by the Plymouth muscle car. The original 1994 mascot, brown with yellow tights, did not resemble Sesame Street’s canary, though the eight-foot character made “Big Bird” comparisons inevitable.

The Young Professionals feature a Dowagiac icon every year. With the reboot of SMC’s athletics program, it seemed an appropriate time to shine the spotlight on the college.

Each ornament is handcrafted, so no two are exactly alike.

Ornaments are for sale in the SMC bookstore, downtown at Deck the Halls, Bakeman Barbers, The Baker’s Rhapsody and Dowagiac Area History Museum, and online. They cost $30 in stores, $40 online at (includes shipping).

Past ornaments, which are also for sale at Deck the Halls and online, have featured Round Oak Stove, Heddon lures, Beckwith Theatre, Chris Taylor-Alumni Field and the Orphan Train. This year a box set is available with eight ornaments for $200, meaning one is free.

Proceeds help the Young Professionals host community-building events, such as annual fireworks, a daddy-daughter dance and a similar mother/son event. They raised money for and coordinated construction of Russom Park’s pavilion.