This past October, as part of the consolidation process to become the University of North Georgia, students selected Nighthawks as the university’s new mascot. Now, as part of the continuing process to develop the character of the mascot, the university is inviting the campus community to identify a nickname for the Nighthawks.
Characterizing a mascot is a practice used by many institutions to build spirit around the mascot, and it will enhance the development of the mascot costume for UNG. A few examples include: Buzz at Georgia Tech, Ace the Warhawk at University of Louisiana-Monroe, Gus the Eagle at Georgia Southern University, Hairy Dawg and Uga at UGA, and Pounce at Georgia State University.
Nighthawks are nocturnal birds that are indigenous to the north Georgia region. They typically hunt at dusk and dawn. Nighthawks have pointed wings and intricately marked feathers that make them difficult to see when roosting. Nighthawks have a wing span of about 2 feet and are extremely agile birds. Nighthawk males are able to make a unique, deep booming sound with their wings. Nighthawks are long-distance flyers and sometimes migrate distances of up to nearly 7,000 miles.
Working with the nationally-recognized design firm of Rickabaugh Graphics, the university has developed a comprehensive set of athletic and spirit marks representing the University of North Georgia Nighthawks. The process of developing the marks included research of other teams around the country and NCAA athletics and local focus group sessions that gathered input from a wide range of UNG constituents.
The consensus of the focus group participants was that the style of the Nighthawks image should be serious and that it should reflect an “old school” or traditional design. The designs also represent key descriptors that the focus group participants used for the UNG Nighthawks: proud, determined, respected, tough, aggressive, dignified, and relentless.
Currently enrolled students will receive an email this week inviting them to participate in an online survey to submit mascot names for consideration. The survey will be open through March 27. After that, the mascot work group, composed of representatives from student government, athletics, student affairs, faculty, and alumni leadership from across the university, will be asked to help narrow down the choices and sponsor a second survey to invite all university constituents to help select the nickname.