Fairfield University’s beloved mascot, Lucas the Stag, recently marked his 22nd birthday with the help of the Fairfield community. Birthday festivities began at the Leo D. Mahoney Arena on Jan. 19 as the Fairfield Men’s Basketball team took on Saint Peter’s University.

The Stags won the game 76-67 after a night of Taylor Swift-themed contests and giveaways. Swift’s song “22” from her “Red” album was the inspiration for the game’s events. The game on Saturday night included a “finish the lyric” game, Lucas poster giveaways and an Eras tour outfit contest.

Other festivities for Lucas’ birthday included a celebration on the day of his official birthday, Jan. 25, at the Barone Campus Center Information Desk. Members from Fairfield’s Student Alumni Association (SAA) joined the mascot from 11 a.m to 1 p.m to offer students celebratory hot chocolate and cookies while Taylor Swift’s hit song “22” played on repeat to carry on the theme. 

During the event, the adored mascot was seen decked out in birthday gear, including a T-shirt quoting Swift’s infamous lyrics, “I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22.” 

Sophomore Lauren VonHassel, Co-Director of Events for Fairfield’s SAA, reflected on the event and its success this year. “Lucas’ birthday is always one of my favorite events we run during the spring semester,” VonHassel stated. “I especially loved the Taylor Swift theme we went with … it put such a fun spin on the event and I’m looking forward to seeing how we celebrate in years to come!”

The Stag Statue was not left behind in the celebrations. VonHassel, along with other Fairfield SAA members, decorated the statue with a birthday hat, sash and large number twos complemented by birthday signs directing students towards the celebration in the BCC. 

While any reason to have a party is a good reason, the talk on campus surrounding Lucas’ 22nd birthday celebrations has led some students to wonder how Lucas is only 22 – the same age as some undergraduates. Meghan Morrissey ’24 shared in her peers’ confusion relating to the history of Lucas, stating “Why isn’t Lucas’ age reflective of the history of Fairfield’s founding? Was there a different mascot prior to Lucas?”

While the University was founded in 1942, Lucas the Stag was only “born” and officially named in 2002. As explained in a @fairfieldu Instagram post from last March, Lucas the Stag was named after Bill Lucas ’69. The real-life Lucas is a former Fairfield University administrator and now holds the privilege of sharing a name with the University’s beloved mascot. Before Lucas the Stag was given his name, the University mascot was known simply as “The Fairfield Stag.”

In 2002, the University also acquired a real stag head that is still on display on the wall of the lower level Barone Campus Center. According to a Mirror article from the time, Lucas’ head was met with mixed reactions from students. Former Fairfield University Student Association President Joe Piagentini ‘02, who was quoted for the article, said that the head “does a good job welcoming you as you walk down the steps.” 

A few years later in 2009, the infamous Stag Statue, created by sculptor J. C. Dye, was unveiled at Family Weekend. The ceremony was marked with a parade, performances and an appearance by the Lucas mascot. The bronze statue was placed in front of Gonzaga Hall and has since become an iconic fixture of campus and for all prospective and current students. 

In more recent years, Lucas the Stag has undergone a bit of a makeover. 2015 saw the reveal of Lucas’ new look, which is more modern than the previous Lucas costume. Nearly ten years later, and 22 years after his birth, Lucas is still sporting this look and looking as good as ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.