- Associated Press - Friday, March 17, 2017

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) - Amherst College has whittled its list of possible new athletic mascots to five and, sorry, rodent fans, the Hamsters didn’t make the cut.

Hamsters was on the list of 30 semifinalists selected out of about 600 initial suggestions by a committee put together to come up with a new mascot for the Massachusetts school.

The five finalists announced this month are the Fighting Poets, the Mammoths, Purple and White, the Valley Hawks, and the Wolves. The committee said all five have connections to the school or region.

Trustees dropped Lord Jeffs last year partly because the 18th century British general, Jeffery Amherst, had suggested giving smallpox-infected blankets to Native Americans.

Alumni, students, faculty and staff can vote for their favorite finalist starting Monday. The winner will be announced this spring.

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