Swooosh, they score! The crowd roars. They passionately sing:
“Oh when the Hawks come flying in. Oh when the Hawks come flying in. How I want to be in that number. Oh, when the hawks come flying in.“
Immediately after the chant, the audience sees her. There she is… flapping her wings wide and proud: the Hawk.
There are 38 hawk mascots in the history of Saint Joseph’s University. These mascots have one of the most well-known roles on campus: flapping their wings nonstop throughout every basketball game, admissions event and campus event. Recently, a new hawk mascot has hatched on Hawk Hill. The SJU community is eager to know who is really behind the fierce and fun bird that embodies the spirit and pride of our institution. Well, here she is: the hawk unmasked!
Mikaela Bakey is a senior Accounting and Risk Management dual major. She is a proud sister of Alpha Omicron Pi, a student worker at the Office of Financial Affairs, and has been a manager of SJU’s men’s basketball team since the beginning of her journey at Hawk Hill.
Here is some information she has revealed about herself and the legacy she hopes to leave behind as she flies away from Hawk Hill in May 2018:
What has been your most meaningful experience in life?
“My most meaningful experience is sharing SJU with my family. My parents come to campus to visit me because I live fairly close. I love when my 86-year-old grandma comes to campus mass with me because she’s very religious.”
What is your philosophy of life?
“Let your smile change the world; don’t let the world change your smile. This a philosophy that my father and I share. I don‘t know who came up with it first!”
Why the Hawk?
“I wanted to leave my footprint at SJU. I never thought the Hawk would be it (*laughs*). I’ve always loved basketball, but I can’t play and I’m 5’2. So, I have been a basketball manager since high school. I continued on that path when I got to SJU. The Hawk is most honorable position I’ve ever received. It was my next step in participating at SJU”
How does it feel to be the third female Hawk mascot in the history of SJU?
“I didn’t tell people that I appliedfor the Hawk because I was scared how they would react since I was a girl. However, when I decided to share it with the people around me, I received positive feedback. It was amazing. Who cares about if you’re a girl or a boy? You’re doing something honorable for your school.”
What would be your last flap (of advice) to SJU students before you fly away from Hawk Hill?
“Take every opportunity with open wings (*laughs*). I would tell them to make the most out of their experiences at SJU. It’s cliché, but this will literally be the best 4 years of your life. However, that will happen only if you make the best out of it.”
Mikaela has certainly made her mark at SJU. It will be sad to see her fly away from Hawk Hill this spring after graduation. If you see her around campus unmasked, thank her for exemplifying the spirit of SJU. After all, “The Hawk Will Never Die!”
Catch Mikaela flapping her wings wide at the SJU basketball games.