The Hawk (St. Joseph's)
From HoopediaSaint Joseph’s University. The Hawk represents the University’s motto, “The Hawk Will Never Die” by flapping its wings non-stop (even during halftime) throughout every basketball game. The Hawk, who has been flapping his wings since 1956, travels with the basketball team to all of its away games. The role of mascot is annually awarded to student, who is given a full scholarship for serving as the Hawk.
Origin of the Hawk Mascot
Saint Joseph's athletic teams have been recognized with the nickname "Hawks" since 1929. At that time, the school's yearbook editor, Charlie Dunn, initiated a contest among the student body for a symbol. More than 100 submissions were narrowed to two, with "Hawks" winning out over "Grenadiers" (World War I soldiers who specialized in tossing grenades) by a slim margin in the final vote. The winning suggestion was submitted by John Gallagher, Class of '31, who was a catcher on the Saint Joseph's baseball team. He won a sweater with a special Saint Joseph's monogram for selecting the winning name. According to the student annual, the name was appropriate because it typified "the fighting spirit of our crimson and gray athletes and it is suggestive of the aerial attack which has made our football team famous." Ironically, football was discontinued at Saint Joseph's following the 1939 season.
The idea for the Hawk as a mascot was originated by Jim Brennan during the 1954-55 season. Brennan, an ex-Marine and SJU cheerleader, at first wanted to secure an actual hawk, but later switched to the costume idea. The student government raised the 120 dollars needed to buy the initial costume, which Brennan donned for three years. He made his debut as the Hawk on January 4, 1956, a 69-56 win over La Salle College at the Palestra.
Hawk selection has become an annual application and interview process in which a current student is selected to represent to school. Since 1992, the student awarded the role of mascot has been recipient of an endowed scholarship and is considered a full member of the basketball team.
- Sports Illustrated Mascot of the 20th Century
- Sporting News Mascot of the Year 2001
- Street & Smith's Best Mascot
- ESPN College Basketball Magazine Best Mascot
- "Best of Philly" award from Philadelphia Magazine in 2003-04
- Eastern Basketball Atlantic 10 Conference's best mascot
- ESPN used a "flap-o-meter" on the national telecast of a Saint Joseph's game to estimate that the Hawk flaps its wings 3,500 times during a regulation game.
- Sarah Brennan in 2000-01 has been the only woman to serve as the mascot.