2017 Be a Bear T-shirt design winner

Spencer Whaley headshot

Spencer Whaley is a senior in General Studies with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship, Graphic Design, and Religious Studies. He is from O’Fallon, Missouri, and intends to graduate in December 2017. Spencer said he jumped at the chance to enter the Be a Bear T-shirt contest. R.E.A.L. Bears, which connects current students with alumni for professional development, sponsors the annual competition.

We sat down with Spencer to find out how he came up with his idea.

What made you want to design this shirt? 

I designed the shirt for the experience. I have been a graphic designer for years now and I’m always looking for opportunity to grow and to challenge myself.

How did you come up with the design?

The phrase “Anytime. Anywhere. Be A Bear” was about finally finding a place at Missouri State. The old slogan was “Follow Your Passion. Find Your Place.” I have always believed in following your passion because I believe passion comes from the Lord. He gifts us with abilities and fuels us with passion to make positive change. At Missouri State, you have followed your passion and have found a place at MSU. You have been accepted into the community and campus as a Bear and it is part of your journey now.

What concepts helped you create this bear and its claws?

I made the bear claws design in high school. We were creating screens for screen printing by hand and so I hand-drew and painted that design. I have the actual original hand-printed shirt back home in O’Fallon. I thought that it wasn’t something I had seen and I wanted to create some sort of depth on a 2-D print.

be a bear t shirt design "be a bear, anytime, anywhere"
Available on March 17th.

Spencer runs an apparel company called Whaley Design. He is developing several business ideas and intends to start additional design companies.

“My personal mission statement is: ‘To create a radically counter-cultural brand that embodies and abundant, adventurous, and approachable life.’ It really encapsulates all of my passions together into a beautiful statement. I want my designs to inspire conversation and change. I want to create something that is radically counter-cultural and one that embodies a type of life that is contagious and true above all things,” he said.

Spencer said he felt reserved when he heard his design won.

“When I found out that I won I was in the car with my friend and I literally said, ‘Oh, dope. I won that t-shirt contest,’ Spencer said. “Not a very exciting response, I know.”

Helping Missouri State students stay in school

Still, Spencer was glad that his creativity would benefit people in need. Proceeds from the sales of the Be a Bear T-shirt go toward the emergency scholarship fund.  Student Aly Gatwood recently received one of the scholarships after her family’s home was destroyed in a flood.

“Natural disasters are devastating. My friend’s hometown was actually struck by a tornado last night,” Spencer said. “Anything that can even begin to help those affected by natural disasters I’m happy to help. It’s nice to know that something as small as a shirt design can help someone in need.”

The new Be a Bear T-shirt is available from March 17 through Homecoming, when it’s retired and a new design contest begins. Spencer received a $50 gift card from the bookstore and a prize pack from MarooNation, the official university alumni association.

Buy the Be a Bear T-shirt

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One Response to 2017 Be a Bear T-shirt design winner

  1. Lori Fan, Executive Director of Alumni Relations says:

    Congratulations on a great job, Spencer! I love the new design and can’t wait to get one!

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