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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    What is a Seawolf?

    If you’ve ever talked to friends at other colleges or universities about their athletic programs, you’ve probably been asked what the Stony Brook mascot was. Chances are, you didn’t know what to say. Well, rest assured, because that question is about to be answered. What exactly is a Seawolf, and why doesn’t Stony Brook have a ‘normal’ mascot like a bear, a tiger or a knight? Normal is boring and who wants that in a mascot?

    The fact is that the Seawolf wasn’t always the representative of Stony Brook athletics. Wolfie is the fourth mascot to be chosen by the University. When the athletic program was first established, the teams were called the Soundmen. But this nickname only lasted for three years. For a six year stretch in the sixties, Stony Brook was known as the Warriors. Then, in 1966, the University changed the name again to the Patriots and Lady Patriots.

    This nickname lasted for thirty years, but with Stony Brook’s transformation into a Division I program, a new mascot was needed to take on the challenge. A 32-member committee of students, faculty, administrators and alumni was formed to choose the next Stony Brook mascot. Out of 200 suggestions, the Seawolf was chosen. At the beginning of the 1994-95 school year, Dr. John H. Marburger III, the president of the university at the time, announced the debut of Wolfie as the new Stony Brook athletics representative.

    The Seawolf is a mythical creature that does not exist in any known culture. According to University lore, the Seawolf is a sea creature that brings good luck to anyone to lay eyes on it. But did you know that our Wolfie is not the only one? That’s right; Stony Brook shares its unique mascot with the University of Alaska Anchorage. They won’t say who came first, but as far as Wolfie’s concerned; he’s the only one that matters.

    Perhaps what is more important than what a Seawolf actually is, is what it means to be part of the Seawolf community. Perhaps the best part of having a mythical creature for a mascot is that it can represent almost anything you think is important. Some say the Seawolf is all about having fun and cheering on our student-athletes. Others feel something stronger.

    When asked what she thought it meant to be a Seawolf, Jackie Boyle of the Women’s Soccer Team responded: ‘Literally, a Seawolf is a mythical creature. But being a Seawolf means Stony Brook University. It means teamwork and leadership…knowledge and individuality. Seawolf means education and friendship… it means commitment and self-confidence. It is everything that Stony Brook University tries to instill in us everyday to help us in the future. A soccer player is a Seawolf, but so is a biology student, and even a psychology professor. Although we don’t realize it, every member of the student community, athletic team, faculty and staff has a little bit of Seawolf in them. Being a Seawolf means pride.’

    So the next time a friend asks you, what exactly is a Seawolf? You can respond with anything that you want; anything that is important to you, because the Seawolf represents us all at Stony Brook, and is everything that the University is. It’s not just about athletics, but every student, faculty member, alumni, and administrator. That’s what is means to be a Seawolf.

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