This studious Falcon of the 1980's was no bird-brain.
Which came first,
the Falcon or the Egg?
Messiah sports fans dont' have to wonder about the loyalty of our mascot, the falcon, recently named “Fandango.” The over-sized winged creature is Messiah blue through and through. But there is plenty else to wonder about this spirited fan visible at sports events throughout the year.
How old is the Falcon?
Where did the bird come from?
Why a falcon and not a dove?
And just who is under that big feathery costume?
A quick search through the archives reveals that the Falcon’s birthday is March 1, 1961. It was then that the athletic committee decided that the college really needed a team name and a mascot. Organized cheerleading had just begun on campus, and cheers without a team name seemed a little too generic, perhaps. The Student Senate (now known as the Student Government Association) appointed a naming committee who brainstormed and came up with a list of about 40 possible names. The senate selected five of the forty, and the administration approved three of those: Falcons, Adelphians, and Pioneers. Following a passionate campaign complete with speeches in favor of one name or the other, a vote was taken, and the Messiah community selected Falcons as the new team name.
Messiah’s falcon mascot has changed its look a few times over the past four decades, ranging from fierce to fanatical. But the bird’s message is always the same—Messiah athletes rock!
We’d love your help in further unraveling the mystery of the Falcon. Were you on the committee that came up with suggestions for the team name in the first place? Do you have any photos of the mascot in action that you’d be willing to share? Did you ever watch your roommate disappear into a dark hallway and seconds later see a big blue bird fly out of the residence hall? If you have memories of the bird or photos of any earlier incarnation of Fandango, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Show your team spirit!
—Susan K. Getty ‘84