We Set a World Record

Show your flapitude! Tell us how scholarship has impacted your life at SJU.

PHILADELPHIA (November 19, 2012) – Saint Joseph’s University kicked off its President’s Magis Scholarship Initiative in a way that could only occur on Hawk Hill. Students, faculty, staff and alumni flocked to the Michael J. Hagan ’85 Arena last Thursday to “flap like Hawks” and raise awareness about the impact of philanthropy on Saint Joseph’s campus. Dubbed “flapitude 2012,” the rally set a world record for the first and longest simultaneous “group flap."

The attempt became an official world record when it was confirmed by a Guinness World Record official that 407 participants – 57 more than required – flapped continuously for five minutes. The record-setting attempt coincided with National Philanthropy Day, giving students a symbolic opportunity to express their gratitude to scholarship donors.

Flapitude 2012The President’s Magis Scholarship Initiative is a fundraising effort that will enable the University to offer more scholarship support to its students. At his October inauguration, University President C. Kevin Gillespie, S.J. ’72 cited affordability, accessibility and accountability as integral to the University’s future success. This scholarship initiative is intended to address affordability.

“We will be challenging every potential benefactor to be more than a friend of the University, but to be a life-changing, personal friend to the young people – and their teachers – who need it most,” said Fr. Gillespie, who flapped alongside students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Vince Papale ’68 – former Eagles special teams captain and the subject of the Disney movie “Invincible” – launched the rally with the help of The Hawk mascot, and kept the crowd flapping with his words of encouragement. Ryan Fox ’14, the official drummer for the 54th Airborne, the Saint Joseph’s student section, provided a steady rhythm for the flapping with his snare drum, while the SJU cheerleading squad added their enthusiastic chant spelling out “magis” at Fr. Gillespie’s urging.

“You could feel the spirit, and the energy in the room was really high,” Guinness adjudicator Freddie Hoff said of the scene at the Hagan Arena. Saint Joseph's University Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Don DiJulia ’67, who emceed the event, estimated that collectively participants flapped 155,612 times.

The University aims to hold “flapitude” each fall to give students an opportunity to express their appreciation to the many donors who contribute to the University. Plans are already underway for “flapitude 2013,” said Marty Farrell ’88, ’98 (M.S.), Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations. “This is event is a great way to bring the campus community together. We understand the importance of expressing appreciation to our donors. This event gives the entire community, and especially our students, a highly visible way to show their gratitude,” he said. “We can’t wait to do it again next year and expect we’ll easily break our own record.”

Weren't able to flap with us? Watch media coverage of your fellow hawks in action: