Traditions

barbHAWK HILL
“In the early 1920s, when former University president Albert G. Brown, S.J. decided to move the college campus from its location just north of the city at 17th and Stiles to its current site in Overbrook on Philadelphia’s west side, he selected the location in part because its hilltop perch overlooking downtown Philadelphia provided a dramatic setting for the construction of the college’s main building, Barbelin Hall. In fact, for many years Barbelin’s signature carillon tower ranked as the highest point from sea level in the city of Philadelphia. Later, according to oral tradition, students and faculty frequently saw real hawks circling the skies above Barbelin, before swooping down on their prey. The familiar scene eventually led to the coining of the moniker Hawk Hill.”

CRIMSON AND GRAY
“The college colors of crimson and gray date back to the 1890s when it is related that a young seminarian leading a pep rally saw the colors on a book he was holding. Thinking they looked attractive together, he announced that these would be the school colors.”

HAWKS
“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. John Gallagher ’31, a catcher on the Saint Joseph’s baseball team, submitted the winning suggestion. 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 HAWK MASCOT
“One of the most famous mascots in college sports, the Saint Joseph’s Hawk has flapped its wings for 59 seasons.

Jim Brennan originated the idea for a hawk as mascot 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 at the Palestra. Since then, and including this season, a total of 34 SJU students, have donned the costume. The Hawk has not missed a men’s basketball game since that first season.  The Hawk is best known for staying in constant motion by flapping its wings throughout every basketball game and representing the Saint Joseph’s motto, “The Hawk Will Never Die.”

hawk-buffalo

In addition to the constant flapping, the Hawk is also recognized by its “flying” in figure eights around the court during timeouts. The constant motion, coupled with the scrappy play of the University’s athletic teams, helped to spawn the school’s familiar slogan “The Hawk Will Never Die!” A few years ago, 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.

The Hawk is unique because it is one of the few mascots in the nation that travels to every game, and the student who holds the position gains a full scholarship. The student, who is selected through an interview process during the previous spring semester, also serves as a team manager for the men’s basketball team and travels with the squad.”

Timmy Parks will serve as the Hawk Mascot for the 2015-2016 season.

“THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!”
“The Hawk is one of the most famous mascots in the country, best known for staying in constant motion by flapping its “wings” from tip-off to the final buzzer of every game, as well as for “flying” in figure 8s around the court during timeouts. The constant flapping, coupled with the scrappy play of the University’s athletic teams, helped to spawn the school’s familiar slogan “The Hawk Will Never Die!””

THE BIG 5
“The Big 5 is an informal association of college athletic programs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It is not a conference, but rather a group of NCAA Division-I basketball schools who compete for the Philadelphia city championship.  The Big 5 includes the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, Villanova Wildcats, Pennsylvania Quakers, Lasalle Explorers, and Temple Owls.  Even though only St. Joe’s and Lasalle play in the same conference, each Big 5 team plays each other annually to compete to see who is the best college team in Philadelphia.  Historically, each Big 5 game was played at the hallowed grounds at the Palestra, with a split crowd.  Recently Big 5 games have moved on to each school’s campuses, but Saint Joseph’s still plays Penn at the Palestra regardless of whose home game it is.  The Hawks have won outright or shared the Big 5 title twenty times with the most recent being in the 2011-2012 season.”

THE CITY 6
“In addition to the Big 5 teams, there is a sixth division one school in Philadelphia, Drexel.  Some have dubbed the six schools as the City 6, but any true Philadelphian will hold true the Big 5 rather than the City 6.  SJU does still play the Drexel Dragons annually.”

ROLLOUTS
“Rollouts are a proud Big 5 tradition that span the decades of the rivalry’s history. At Big 5 games, rival opponents create banner messages to support their teams and razz their opponents’ confidence. Saint Joe’s is known for having some of the best roll outs in the Big 5, including sneaking “The Hawk Will Never Die” rollout into the Villanova student section.”

THE DRUM
The Drum“The Drum’s hallowed tradition and history are second only to that of the Hawk. “Old timers” reminiscing about Hawk games are compelled to make reference to the constantly booming Drum. It is believed that the Drum played a significant role in many important wins. Today the tradition lives on with a new generation of drummers.”

Matt Conlin will serve as the drummer for the 2015-2016 season.

FIGHT SONGS
“Oh When the Hawks Go flying In!!”
(Sung to the tune of “When the Saints, Go Marching In” whenever the Hawks enter the court)

Oh when the Hawks, go flying in,
Oh when the Hawks go flying in,
I want to be in that number,
When the Hawks go flying in.
(Repeat above)
Let’s Go St. Joe!
Lets Go St. Joe!
Let’s Go St. Joe!

“Mine Eyes”
(Sung to the tune of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” after each game ends)

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Hawk,
He is flying through the doorway ’cause he never, ever walks,
He is flying through the rafters like a loyal, loyal Hawk, The Hawk will never die.
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
The Hawk will never die!
We have been to Cincinnati and we’ve been to Buffalo,
We have been to Carolina flying high and flying low,
And when we get to Maryland let everybody know,
The Hawk will never die.
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
Glory, glory what a helluva way to fly,
The Hawk will never die!