October 01, 2016
Our newest tradition, beginning in fall 2016, is the river hawk, Susquehanna’s new nickname. Also known as the osprey, it shares many characteristics with our students—powerful, adaptive, distinctive and resilient.
A migratory bird that travels great distances, the River Hawk always finds its way back to these waters. And Susquehanna students know that no matter how far they go, this incredible place will always be their alma mater.
With nearly 40 percent of the student body voting, Susquehanna’s new mascot has a name!
“Benny the Hawk” was introduced on Saturday, Oct. 29, in the midst of Family Weekend. He took to Amos Alonzo Stagg Field just before the River Hawks football team took on the Franklin & Marshall Diplomats.
“Benny” is a nod to Susquehanna’s founder Benjamin Kurtz. Over the years, the name has been tied to a number of campus spaces and organizations, including the Benjamin Kurtz Society and the former Benny’s campus snack bar, which is now The Hawk’s Nest.
When what is now Susquehanna University opened in 1858, as The Missionary Institute of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kurtz was the college’s first president. He served in that role until his death in 1865. Regarded as one of the most eloquent men of his time, Kurtz’s conception of the university was as a place to train clergy from modest means and to open doors to first-generation college students from rural Pennsylvania’s lower-income families. Nearly 160 years later, Susquehanna continues to open doors to education and opportunity.