largest in the family of Accipters:
short winged (rounded tip), long-tailed hawk.
In 1951 the student body of the college voted to have the hawk as its mascot. The first mascot was "Gus," a tame goshawk in the care of biology professor Heinz Meng. In 1954, Meng painted the hawk on the side of the College bus, and the '54 Paltzonian's dedication states "Our College mascot, the Hawk, symbolizes the spirit of New Paltz courage, good will and good sportsmanship."
The hawk's reign continues today, as its symbolism encompasses many of the qualities embraced by New Paltz.
In 1997, New Paltz began work on an athletics symbol, to include a logo, logotype and caricature. The work by the Publications staff incorporates a drawing of a hawk done by Meng. The current mascot is a goshawk named Gussie being raised by Meng. She accompanied Meng to a men's basketball game in December 1998, where he presented his full color illustration of a goshawk to the Athletics Department.