An accomplished student by anyone's standards, IUPUI alum Jake Manaloor was a triple major at the Kelley School of Business in business management, human resources management, and international studies, along with a minor in economics. This two-time Top 100 student was also a two-term president of Undergraduate Student Government (USG). And that was just during his undergrad years. Manaloor went on to receive his juris doctorate degree from the Robert H. McKinney School of Law in 2003, the same year he received the Norman Lefstein Award of Excellence for the more than 1,000 hours of pro bono service he provided.
In addition to his academic pursuits, Manaloor worked at the Student Center, located in Taylor Hall at the time, and the IUPUI Natatorium’s information desk, where he quickly became friends with many of the athletes who walked its halls to and from training or practice or both.
"Because IUPUI students were paying the same athletic fees as students attending NCAA Division I schools, we wanted students attending IUPUI to have the opportunity to compete in and support that same level of competition. USG made inquiries to university athletics, campus administration, and the IU Trustees regarding why the IU system of campuses could not have more than one Division I school, similar to many other top-tier institutions. Leadership heard and acknowledged our message; IUPUI started its transition to Division I in 1997," said Manaloor.
From top: Manaloor poses as Jinx during the "Jam the Jaguar Bus" food donation event in 1999; Manaloor (top row, right) with the IUPUI Student Government cabinet members during his second term as president in the late 1990s; Manaloor (far left) at the 2012 IUPUI Regatta with members of the IU/IUPUI Central Indiana Alumni Association, including fellow "Face of IUPUI" David Nguyen (second from left) and IUPUI Board of Advisors member Jeannie Sager (far right). Top photo courtesy of IUPUI Special Collections and Archives; bottom photos courtesy of Jake Manaloor
Following the shift to Division I, Undergraduate Student Government, led by Manaloor, advocated for a recognizable new logo and mascot that would unify students and alumni and give the Indianapolis community something to rally around. The now-familiar roaring Jaguar was unveiled on November 13, 1998, at The Jungle and the Jaguar mascot was born. By popular student vote, Jinx was named and made his first official appearance in 1999.
And who better to don the new Jinx costume than Manaloor, who had been an important part of bringing the vision to reality? As the first Jinx mascot, Manaloor spent time at campus and community events like Jam the Jaguar Bus, Reading with Jaguar Athletes at Riley Hospital for Children, Race for the Cure, the 500 Festival Mini Marathon, and more.
"Seeing the projects that our USG team worked on come to successful fruition has been so cool. To see things like the UITS 24-hour computer lab, the completion of the Campus Center and the vibrancy it now has, the Jaguars playing basketball games at a large venue like Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the growth of student-led activities like Jagathon: IUPUI's Dance Marathon and the IUPUI Regatta. These are my favorite memories of IUPUI," Manaloor said.