Go Hawks” seems to be almost as important a combination of words at Shorter in this era as any combination of Biblical phrases. The following musings are not intended to disparage any student, faculty, or administrator currently on the Hill”, but to point out the use of this term in a manner which overlaps every aspect of Shorter and the possible motivation behind this repetitive usage.

As an alumnus, I received an invitation to homecoming. This two day series of events is intended to allow alumni to gather together… and do what? Upon examining the itinerary, the only conclusion I can reach is that it will give many opportunities for alumni to say “GO HAWKS”! Most every planned activity on the mailed invitation orbits around a pep rally, alumni sporting events, and the cheering of current Shorter athletic competitions slated for the weekend. It is indisputable that these young student/athletes deserve our heartfelt support as they compete in their chosen skill of study. Why the effort to make almost every alumni activity a sporting activity? (GO HAWKS!)

I have also seen documents of correspondence sent by alumni voicing concerns about actions taken by the Shorter administration in recent months. These concerns are generally answered by Bert Epting, a Shorter employee who serves as a liaison between alumni and Shorter leadership, an unenviable task these days. Mr. Epting seems to be a good man, but it seems he has to toe the party line. Every letter of response to concerned alumni has the words GO HAWKS right before his signature. This seems to trivialize whatever concerns that were voiced. Mr. Epting is not to be singled out in his usage of these two words, for it can be used for any occurrence at Shorter to capture the spirit of the administration. Here are some examples:

-Fine arts program gutted and began anew… GO HAWKS!

-Nursing program turned on its ear… GO HAWKS!

-Science program in flux…GO HAWKS!

-Respected professors and staff run off or fired… GO HAWKS!

-Any contrary opinion to Dowless/Price vision ignored… GO HAWKS!

What is the motivation to use GO HAWKS at every turn? Perhaps it is to remind us of our mascot as a symbol of a Shorter student displaying prowess in the field and in the classroom.

More fitting would be to reflect the shift of focus at Shorter from academic to athletic achievement. The plan may be to attract new donors who will be excited about football and other athletics on the “hill”. These could replace longtime donors who have withheld support because of the seeming abandonment of Shorter’s longtime focus as an institution of academic excellence and replacing it with a focus on athletic excellence. GO HAWKS!

12 responses to “GO HAWKS!

  1. Melissa King Rogers

    Go Alan!

  2. This is really great. It Voices my concern about overuse and redundancy.

  3. As someone who has worked in the Alumni office in the past let me ask a question of you and the other alumni who read and post on this site. What events or activities could take place during Homecoming that would draw you back to “the hill” that you would actually participate in?

  4. Go SOS!

  5. My invitation to the homecoming was clearly seeking a donation along with the GO HAWKS message!
    Sheila Byron

  6. Chip Mitchell: How about 1) a concert (not necessarily by a group from the school….if Rome can bring in Country stars for River Jam, it is possible), 2) a block party event like last year’s dinner on the hill Friday night, but have dancing in the circle, 3) historic walking tours of downtown Rome, 4) cruises on the river, 5) a play or musical, or 6) a comedian (doesn’t Shorter have a fabulous, HILARIOUS alum who makes his living by making people laugh???)….things like that. Do like Berry is doing this year with reunion year classes meeting at Oak Hill for “tailgaiting” with dinner and drinks…. sounds like fun to me, and then there truly is something for everyone, not just the sports minded!

  7. The last paragraph hits it dead on—that really is what it’s all about.

    Uh, um, ahem….



  8. Thanks for your ideas. That sounds like a fun weekend.

  9. Beverly B. Woodward

    No event, except classical music or serious theatre, will lure me back to the Hill , and with P&D in charge, this is not likely to happen. So guess we’ll just sadly have to stick with “Go Hawks”. Beverly B. Woodward, ’55, Rome, GA

  10. I would like to comment on your statement concerning the Nursing Program when you said it had been turned on its ear!! Apparently, you didn’t check the facts; otherwise, you would find that the Nursing Program is very much alive & well!! There are 48 Jr. year students; one of whom is my daughter. There are 36 Sr. students. who will graduate in 2013. Please check your facts next time!!

    • Thomas Hobson Williams

      Maybe YOU should check the facts: (1) what the phrase “turned on its ear” can mean (it may not necessarily mean all the students have gone, as you seem to be assuming), and (2) while there may still be many students in the program at the moment, the number of students immediately after the takeover of an institution occurs is not the sole indicator of the strength of a program. The sudden faculty turnover within the nursing program has been discussed in some detail in previous articles on this site, and any debate over the accuracy of those reports will require more than merely citing the number of students remaining.

  11. Lisa (Howell) Nelson, Shorter alum, class of 1990

    I am a Hawk, simply because I am a Shorter grad. I participated in intramural sports, and was a member of the women’s softball team, which at the time was slow pitch and non-scholarship(which explains why I was allowed to be on the team). When I hear “Go Hawks!” I don’t think of that as cheering on a sports team and no one else. i hear it encouraging all Hawks, whether you are an athlete or not. As for the weekend being centered around sports, I would point out that on Friday Denise Hildreth Jones, a novelist and international speaker, will be speaking and signing books(I just finished one of them- they are terrific!). Also, on Friday, there is a Fine Arts Alumni Showcase at the Ledbetter College of Business, as well as a family festival in the Front Circle. Saturday morning will feature open houses for various departments, and gatherings for student groups(i.e. the EpSig Tea). And half of the atletic events scheduled for Saturday are Alumni athletic events, scheduled for those alums who were athletes during their Shorter days. And I would venture a guess that the attendance will be higher at the football game than at the Fine Arts Showcase. Some may be disappointed by that, but let’s face it- a lot of people enjoy watching sporting events.
    Also, as several have already indicated here, I don’t know why anyone is complaining about an event that they have no intention of attending under any circumstances, unless perhaps a public lynching or two was scheduled in the Front Circle. So, I say GO (ALL) HAWKS!!

Leave a Reply to Chip Mitchell Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s