New Paltz’s mascot, Hugo the Hawk, wins SUNY competition
NEW PALTZ - Hugo the Hawk, mascot of the State University of New York at New Paltz, has been declared the winner of the first annual GenerationSUNY Mascot Madness contest. A strong show of support and school spirit from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends and family of the campus community led New Paltz to victory over 30 SUNY campus mascots that participated in the contest.
In 28 games over four rounds, individuals voted online to advance their SUNY mascots to the next “bracket,” in similar fashion to the NCAA March Madness template. In round one, Hugo advanced over Purchase’s Perseus the Panther by a margin of 928 votes. Round two saw Hugo emerge over Cortland’s Red Dragon, and in round three Hugo beat Maritime’s Pete the Privateer with 56 percent of the vote. New Paltz’s triumph over significantly larger schools inspired the GenerationSUNY blog to dub Hugo as the “Cinderella story” of the contest.
In the final round, which began March 29 and ended at 12 p.m. on April 4, Hugo narrowly defeated Wolfie, the mascot for the Stony Brook Seawolves, by a margin of only 50 votes. Many of the final votes for Hugo were garnered in the last days and hours of voting, with Hugo himself rallying the campus to inspire students and staff to show their pride in their mascot. Local radio stations and media outlets helped to spread the word and encouraged listeners and readers to vote for Hugo in the contest.
“I am grateful for the enthusiastic participation of New Paltz students, alumni, faculty, staff, families, and friends in the Mascot Madness contest,” said New Paltz President Donald P. Christian. “New Paltz is especially humbled to have advanced over many large universities with enrollments that double or triple that of New Paltz. It’s a great testament to the tremendous amount of pride our community has for the school and our distinguished athletics program.”
Student-athletes at New Paltz continuously rank well among their non-student-athlete peers. In Fall 2012, 113 student-athletes made the Dean’s List, and eight student-athletes posted perfect 4.0 GPAs. Nearly 62 percent of student-athletes held a GPA at or above 3.0 in Fall 2012 as well, and 26.92 percent of them had a GPA at or above 3.50.
The online contest included 30 SUNY campuses representing 472 athletic teams (including 80 NCAA Division I teams, 290 NCAA Division III teams, and 385 NJCAA athletics teams, as well as other athletics associations and club teams), and more than 220,000 students. The mascots amassed more than 278,000 votes throughout the contest.
Located in the heart of a dynamic college town, 90 minutes from metropolitan New York City, the State University of New York at New Paltz is a highly selective college of about 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students.
One of the most well-regarded public colleges in the nation, New Paltz delivers an extraordinary number of majors in Business, Liberal Arts, Sciences, Engineering, Fine and Performing Arts and Education.
New Paltz embraces its culture as a community where talented and independent minded people from around the world create close personal links with real scholars and artists who love to teach.