Hugo the Hawk was born in a nest overlooking Lake Minnewaska in the majestic Shawangunk Mountains of New Paltz. After he learned to fly, he decided to visit the SUNY New Paltz campus to look for some squirrels to eat, and he’s been here ever since!
Hugo represents 15 sports teams at New Paltz. As a hawk, he’s used to animals running away from him when they see him coming, but the humans at New Paltz make Hugo feel right at home. The SUNY Mascot Madness contest is his favorite campus event of the year. He loves all of his fans, but the ones who bring him tasty snakes to eat during half-time are his favorites.
In his spare time, Hugo likes to cook and experiment with recipes. He asked the folks at Hugo’s fine dining restaurant in the Student Union Building if they’d consider putting his deep-fried mouse nuggets with lizard chutney on the menu. We can’t imagine why they turned him down!
Aside from the New Paltz campus, Hugo’s favorite New York State destination is the Catskill Mountain range. Every once in a while, he enjoys escaping from the country by flying down to New York City and catching a Broadway show. His favorite play is “Bye-Bye Birdie.”
SUNY New Paltz President Donald P. Christian,
“Though the title of NY's favorite mascot no longer belongs to us officially, Hugo continues to be our favorite Hawk here at New Paltz! Mascot Madness has proven to be an exciting opportunity to bring together students, staff, faculty, and alumni to support our mascot. It is a wonderful reminder of our close-knit community and the amazing things that can happen when we all work together!”