'Milo Leo' graduates

How he brought a mascot to life

February 1, 2016
'Milo Leo'
Milo came to life thanks to student Lorenzo “Leo” Harmon

What you don’t see underneath Milo’s big furry head and tufted ears is the huge smile of the man inside. And that’s a shame, because Lorenzo “Leo” Harmon has a smile that lights up his face and brightens the entire room.

Harmon is one of the original students who brought CU Denver’s Milo the Lynx mascot to life in 2013, and he’s been walking in Milo’s paws, bringing his own special swagger and style to the big cat’s personality, ever since.

Now that he’s graduating, we can reveal Harmon’s identity and he can reveal his secrets to being “Milo Leo.”

Milo and Leo

Leo and Milo

“As soon as you get in the suit, it begins,” said Harmon.

Milo waves as he walks. He constantly interacts with the people around him and over-emphasizes his movements. He has a big smooth stride, and he’s always in character.

“I think what I enjoy the most is bringing people into the Milo experience,” Harmon said. “I work hard to make sure that by the end of the interaction, people feel like they’ve made friends with Milo.”

Harmon and his alter-ego have always shared many of the same traits. Both are outgoing, friendly and personable. But Harmon says that Milo has taught him a few new tricks, including how to be more comfortable and confident in awkward situations.

“Milo is here to be the center of attention,” Harmon said. “Milo’s the man. He’s the guy at the party that everybody loves.”

Harmon will tell you that wearing the Milo suit wasn’t always easy. It was tough to see from inside the head and the big paws made it hard to walk. “One time, Milo and I tripped at the top of the library stairs and rolled down two flights,” he said. “Luckily, that furry suit provided a lot of padding so we kind of bounced.”

Everyone’s PAL 

Harmon graduated in December 2015 with a degree in music business from the CU Denver College of Arts & Media. He’s already working at radio station KS107.5. He’s a songwriter and performer and is considering a career in music education. In his time on campus, Harmon also served as a Student Government Association representative and as a Peer Advocate Leader (PAL).

Guest Contributor: Marcia Neville, Communications Manager, Division of Student Affairs