- Where are you from?
My roots are in England’s Sherwood Forest, where ESF’s Robin Hood Oak originated as a tiny acorn. I’ve even been told I have a slight British accent. These days I hang my acorn cap in Syracuse, but I’ve been known to branch out and visit our Adirondack campuses, too.
- How many teams do you represent?
Eight men’s and women’s teams so far, but our “Mighty Oaks” sports program is growing really fast – like a native-species shrub willow. You know the saying, “Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow!”
- How were you chosen to be school mascot?
I’m no stranger to getting out on the stump for votes. I beat out a bunch of other potential mascots in an online poll of ESF students. Clearly they made the right choice because in 2013, Buzzfeed included me on their list of “11 Somewhat Strange, But Mostly Awesome College Mascots.” As the only SUNY school mascot on the list, I was proud to represent our great educational system.
- Do you have any friends that are mascots?
My BFF, Otto the Orange, is an acorn’s throw away across the street at Syracuse University. We pal around at events like Freshman Orientation at the Carrier Dome welcoming all the new ESF and SU students. We’ve made videos to promote campus programs and we like to cheer on each other’s teams. This past summer I hung out with SUNY Cortland’s Blaze at the Jets Training Camp. That was a good time — meeting the players and fans and tossing around the ole pigskin. I also had the chance to visit with Stony Brook’s Wolfie at the New York State Fair. It was great greeting SUNY students past, present and future at both the ESF and SUNY tents. Lots of SUNY pride at the fair!
- What is your favorite campus event?
Do I have to pick just one? Move-In Day is great – hanging out with the new students, meeting their parents, making sure everyone feels welcome and happy. But Earth Week at ESF – you can’t top it. It’s seven days of campus activities like barbecues, concerts, service projects, and making tie-dye T-shirts. There’s no better place on earth to be in April than ESF.
- What do you consider the ideal fan?
The louder the better. There’s nothing like the cry of “Go Nuts!” when the game’s close or our runners are nearing the finish line.
- What’s it like to be a mascot?
It’s the best job EVER! It’s not even a job – it’s a lifestyle. You eat, breathe and sleep the Mighty Oaks. I hang out with the teams, get the crowds psyched, give high fives and hugs and totally represent ESF. Who doesn’t like the opportunity to go nuts on a regular basis?
- What do you like to do for fun?
Earlier this winter I spent a lot of time watching the Olympics and wondered if I was just a little too big for the luge. I might be better at curling. With all the snow we’ve had this winter, I’ve taken up snow-shoeing. It’s the easiest way to get to class and helps me maintain a perfect acorn figure.
- What is your favorite Broadway play?
It’s a toss up between “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and “Into the Woods” – they’re both such great shows. I was super excited to see “Oklahoma,” but then was disappointed to learn there wasn’t a single oak tree in the show. “Oak-lahoma?” I don’t think so. Not many people know this, but I’m a bit of a theatre nut. I would love to score tickets to see “Waiting for Godot” and “No Man’s Land” with Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen. It is the hot ticket these days!
- What is your favorite New York state destination?
I love the Finger Lakes region. Not only are there beautiful lakes and hiking trails teeming with oak trees to explore, there are countless wineries to visit. And if there’s one thing a giant acorn appreciates, it’s a nice oaky chardonnay.