• Ron Cohen, Nickname/Mascot Special Committee chair

April 01, 2016

Reflections from the Nickname/Mascot Special Committee


On Nov. 7, 2015, President L. Jay Lemons convened the Nickname/Mascot Special Committee (NMSC), following an Oct. 26 decision by the university’s Board of Trustees to accept a recommendation to change the longstanding Crusaders nickname. Composed of 23 people who broadly reflect the alumni, students, faculty and staff of the SU community, the NMSC was charged with identifying no more than three, but no fewer than two, recommendations for new nicknames capable of generating widespread support by mid-February.

Over the next 80 days, the committee worked to meet its charge. The three finalists, conveyed via the committee’s report to President Lemons, were: Bobcats, Phoenix and River Hawks. President Lemons chose to forward all three potential nicknames to the Board of Trustees for consideration at its late-February meeting. After reviewing all three names, the board chose to return all three names to alumni, students, faculty and staff for a final vote. The Susquehanna community overwhelmingly chose River Hawks as our new nickname and mascot with a vote of 67.4 percent of the 4,861 votes cast. “We appreciate the privilege and opportunity to engage in this important mission, which to our knowledge has never before been undertaken at SU. We cannot predict how future generations will view the name that is selected, but our efforts reflect a sincere hope that the name to be chosen by the community in 2016 will serve the entire SU community well for many years to come.” -From the Final Report and Recommendations of the Nickname/Mascot Special Committee

Nickname/Mascot Special Committee

  • Brad Brown
  • Jerry Habegger
  • Karyn Kern ’01 Pinter
  • Angela Burrows
  • Kate Hastings
  • Courtney Purnell ’18
  • Zach Clinchy ’18
  • Scott Heller ’82
  • Madeleine Rhyneer
  • Ron Cohen, Chair
  • David Imhoof
  • Pam Samuelson
  • Keith Costello ’73 P’00, P’04
  • Emily Leboffe ’17
  • Will Starace ’90
  • Jamie Malachowski ’09
  • Caitlin Newman ’09 Thistle
  • Aminata Diallo ’19
  • James Norman ’18
  • John “CJ” Williams ’17