In creating and developing the principles of The Hill over time the Hill Hawk has been as central as Mt. Olympus and Zeus. The Hill Hawk has been coupled with ideas like spirit, loyalty, class, and sportsmanship in banners, uniforms, and songs to create a cohesive image in the minds of all those impressionable young men and relate to them the qualities important to being a Hillman.
As Hank tells it, the original idea when looking for a mascot image was a falcon, but his efforts to garner pennants or falcon logo material from colleges that were using it came up dry.
Hank’s college basketball coach at Penn, Jack McCloskey, suggested he reach out to his friend Jack Ramsey, who was the coach at St. Joes in Philly at the time whose mascot was a Hawk. A week later a fat envelope arrived in Hank’s mailbox full of images of the St. Joe’s Hawk. The rest is history.
From this material Hank “Van Gogh” Aberman drew the first image of the Hill Hawk,shown below as it appeared on the cover of the original Senior Hill Handbook.
This evolved over time………a Senior Hill Handbook in 2012.
The first big impact had to be on the original Hill Arch which went up in the early 1960’s. You can see the crown on the top of the arch and the hawks deployed on either side. It sets the regal feeling to welcome Hillmen every time they walk up the hill.
Note the first use of the “Always Imitated-Never Duplicated” tag line, the contribution of our conceptual brain child Mickey Rothstein. It has been used consistently over the years setting a standard of behavior for the men of The Hill.
The more recent version of the arch puts the Hill Hawk in a promontory position atop the crown, wings spread in an all embracing pose. Once again the key message is reiterated.
The evolution of the underlying principles of the Hill were very important to creating a sense of inclusion, comaraderie, and purpose for the kids who would be part of The Hill. In the recent banners shown below and you can see that Victory, Loyalty, Sportsmanship, and Class became endemic pieces to the spirit of being a Hillman.
The tutelage of those new Hillmen was reinforced through the songs they sang all summer long for competitions with other camps and, most importantly, in the build up to the Hill-IJ Game. Marching into the Mess Hall and singing boisterously as one voice became one of the most exhilarating and fulfilling experiences on The Hill.
From the lyrics of the iconic Hill Marching Song, sung to The Great Escape , the emphasis of these principles is obvious.
Hillmen-we are the Hillmen
Marching in victory forever
Our spirits soaring
With voices roaring
Praises to our Senior Hill
The shirts and accessories provided to the campers each summer and the counselor’s jerseys and hats for the Hill-IJ Game used the Hill Hawk and these messages every year. Through the creativity each new leader they were honed and reinforced for the latest generation of Hillmen.
This stuff ages quite gracefully as you see Sheri and Sandy Lipstein still sporting the 1967 Hill Jerseys comfortably in 2014.
There must be a dozen iterations of Hill Hawk shirts and jerseys being worn in this shot of the 2016 Hill-IJ Game rush.
The Hill Hawk took roost throughout the daily lives of the men of the Hill as it was represented in places like the Hill Pagoda and Hill Court. Iterations from 1993 through 2016 show further refinement as the symbol of the Hill.
It has been over 50 years since Connie Chalick, Hank Aberman, Herbie Cohen, and others in the Hill Meetings hatched these ideas to create the foundation upon which to build a cohesive concept of The Hill.
Fostered over the years by countless others, they have stood the test of time, bonding together generation after generation of Hillmen that followed.