Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Recent Hawk Sighting

Well tomorrow is the first day of Fall Break so I thought I better get this out. Just when the first costumed mascot appeared, seems to be a bit of a mystery. The first pic is of the Hawk with my daughter last week, and rumor has it that the Hawk is as sweet as sugar. But who knows who really inhabits the inside of the Hawk at sporting events? The second is a pretty freaky one of the Hawk taken from the 1980 Yearbook (top right). Get a load of that costume! You’ve come a long way baby! (Thank God)

Of course the Hawk had to make an appearance at Rockhurst Day! But just who IS this Hawk? The identity of the person inside the costume is usually a secret. The Hawk never speaks so as to give away who’s inside. But some pretty solid sources claim that the Hawk has been portrayed by gals as well as guys.

But why is the Hawk Rockhurst’s mascot? Rockhurst College was founded in 1910 (obviously a big centennial celebration is already in the plans), but it wasn’t until March 1927 that the Rockhurst athletes landed on a name. Up until then the athletic teams--we had football back then--were simply referred to as the “Blue and White” (our school colors), the “Southsiders” (Rockhurst was on the south side of Kansas City), or the “Irish” (because a lot of Irish Catholics attended the college and many Jesuits were Irish as were the coaches Mason, Ryan, and Halpin).

But in 1927, the coaches decided to have a five week campaign asking suggestions for a permanent name. Three hundred some monikers were submitted with nearly every type of bird and beast nominated. John Cauley, a college freshman, and Donald Rossner, a high school student, both submitted the winning name Hawks. (Originally, Rockhurst College and High School were very closely aligned; the High School was on the same property until 1962.) From March 23, 1927 forward, Rockhurst College (now University) athletes have been known as the Hawks and those at the High School--the Hawklets (young Hawks). For a timeline of Rockhurst History click here and on “Rockhurst Traditions” in the bookmark. http://www.rockhurst.edu/registrar/catalog/images/Catalog0608.pdf
Any alums out there reading this, Do you have any older pictures of the Hawk or know when the Mascot first appeared? Love to hear from you.


Anonymous said...

I think that you should review your profile, and possibly give some more info like you do on your website for class.

Anonymous said...

Great insight into the history of our mascot, love the picture you included. Keep the blog coming, it's informative and a nice read.

Mark J. W. said...

I enjoyed reading about the Hawk Mascot. I am writing a book about high school nicknames/mascots in Minnesota and every now and then, I click on the net to see what stories are out there. I am curious to know if you have found any additional information in the past two years. I know how tough it can be trying to find images and stories that are credible.
Best of luck in your search!