Hawk Installation 1

University Unveils New Hawk Statue

A 22-foot wide bronze sculpture of a hawk was installed in the center of the roundabout near OceanFirst Bank Center on Saturday, Sept. 15.

The bronze hawk is a donation from University alumni, given by world-renowned sculptor Brian Hanlon (‘88), his wife Michelle (‘90), and the Brockriede Family. Senior Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Roos, who coordinated the effort, described the monument as a new point of pride being welcomed onto the campus.

Discussion about the possibility of “The Hawk” began over three years ago, in July of 2015. Vice President and Director of Athletics Marilyn McNeil, Ph.D., said that there was a mutual conversation between the donors and the school about the project, but that “their (the donors’) love of Monmouth allowed the conversation to end beautifully.”

The official start of the project was when the two donors signed funding agreements in October of 2017, and according to Roos, no University operating funds or tuition dollars were used for the funding of this project.

According to Roos, the new hawk statue was built to foster pride amongst the Monmouth community. “We wanted to create a landmark space on campus that would build pride for our students, alumni, prospective students, faculty and staff, and community,” he added.

“I really like it [the statue]. It’s a good way to get people hyped about the school. It shows pride for the school, and that’s something I really like, it’s one of the reasons why I chose to come to Monmouth,” said freshman communication student Anna Maida.

Hawk Installation 2Likewise, since “The Hawk” was gifted to Monmouth from the Hanlon and Brockriede families, there are hopes that the statue will increase awareness of the Alumni Association.

 “The Hawk” has replaced the former statue that stood in front of OceanFirst Bank Center According to Roos, the smaller hawk is now being planted between rows of flowers at the top of the ramp coming up from the tunnel that connects the residential side to the academic buildings.

Roos hopes that the addition of the new sculpture said, “We wanted to spread the Hawk pride throughout campus… As students walk from their residence halls to class and athletic games, they will see this smaller hawk statue, helping to increase pride.”

Another reason McNeil and Ross believed the movement of the smaller hawk was a good idea was because the larger sculpture is set to become a more significant focal point of the area in front of the OceaFirst Bank Center.

McNeil said, “From the perspective of the OceanFirst Bank Center and the Brockriede Common, we really believed that this magnitude of a sculpture would emphasize the beautiful space that exists in front of the OceanFirst Bank Center.”

The Involved Student sculpture by Woodrow Wilson Hall of a girl lying on her back reading a book with a soccer ball propping up her legs is also part of Hanlon’s portfolio. Hanlon has created other profound works in many places such as: a Shaquille O’Neal monument for Louisiana State University, a Red Hawk for Montclair State University, and he even designed the 2015 college basketball awards. “We are very proud of what Brian Hanlon has created. We are very fortunate to have talented alums giving back in such an impactful way,” said Roos.

Hawk Installation 3“The new Hawk statue should serve as a point of pride for all Monmouth students, alums, employees, supporters and fans,” said Eddy Occhipinti, Associate Athletics Director. “It’s where every home football gameday will start as the location where our Hawk Walk ends, and can be a central meeting place for fans. We are lucky to have very generous and supportive people who love Monmouth and have a great deal of pride in what it means to be a Hawk, and this new beautiful statue represents that.”

Sophomore running back and communication student, Peter Guerriro said, “I like it. I think it’s a good addition to the campus. As an athlete it’s pretty cool because it shows school spirit and how it’s increased over the years.”

The Hawk and Brockriede Common still need a few final touches such as laying down sod and installing lights around it.

“This sculpture represents everyone at Monmouth. We are all Hawks. Not just the athletes: our faculty, staff, administration, students, fans, boosters, and trustees,” said McNeil. “The donor made this gift to help unify the Monmouth community and I think it is a beautiful reminder for everyone.”

PHOTOS TAKEN by Matt Aquino