'Eagle' Nickname & Mascot
The Eagle nickname and mascot for Boston College's teams were born through the eloquence of Rev. Edward McLaughlin. Fr. McLaughlin, incensed at a Boston newspaper cartoon depicting the champion BC track team as a cat licking clean a plate of its rivals, penned a passionate letter to the student newspaper, The Heights, in the newspaper's first year in 1920. "It is important that we adopt a mascot to preside at our pow-wows and triumphant feats," wrote Fr. McLaughlin. "And why not the Eagle, symbolic of majesty, power, and freedom? Its natural habitat is the high places. Surely the Heights is made to order for such a selection. Proud would the B.C. man feel to see the B.C. Eagle snatching the trophy of victory from old opponents, their tattered banner clutched in his talons as he flies aloft."
And so it was. The eagle was adopted as mascot and nickname that same year. The national attention that followed brought gifts of two live mascots, from Texas and New Mexico, but neither bird found Chestnut Hill to its liking - one escaped and the other injured its beak trying.
For some 40 years, the Boston College mascot was a stuffed and mounted golden eagle that resided in the athletic department offices. But in 1961, a committee of students launched an effort to find a live Aquila chrysaetos to represent BC. Thus, the era of Margo commenced.
Margo [a combination of the first letters of the school colors] was a 10-pound, two-month old female golden eagle given to the University by a Colorado man in August 1961. For five years, the bird lived at the Franklin Park Zoo, attended every BC home contest tethered to a sizeable perch, and even made the traveling squad for games against Army, Holy Cross, and Syracuse. Its reign ended unhappily early in the 1966 season when it succumbed to a virus just before a road trip to Annapolis for a game against Navy.
By that time, the status of the eagle as an endangered species made it undesirable to replace Margo. The University soon opted to fill the void by following a national sports trend: using a costumed human mascot to roam the sidelines and exhort the Eagles faithful.