Fans of Shakespeare and Fort Lewis College athletics alike will feel for the stricken Juliet, whose anguished lament at her lover's ill-destined fate is as prescient today in Durango as in 1594. Will that which we call the skyhawk by any other name smell as sweet?
The FLC community will have to wait and see because FLC's deep-blue avian diehard now is Skyler the Skyhawk.
The until-now-nameless mascot's new designation, disclosed at the basketball games Saturday night, was the winner of an 11-entry student election made up of student-selected names.
The second-place vote-getter was Siigwanchi, the Ute word for "hawk." Luke Skyhawker took third place.
Leading the charge to handle the raptor was Aaron Elinoff, president of the Associated Students of Fort Lewis College. He said he was relieved the inoffensive Skyler was picked over anything more controversial.
"It's very PC; it's good all around. It really connects with the school, what we stand for," he said. "Skyler, Skyhawk; it works."
Prepping for his coming-out, Skyler told the Herald he was relieved, as well. He said before the new name, rowdy fans shouted indefinite descriptors like "bird" and "hawk" to get his attention. He said a name completes the image.
"Now that I have a new name, you'll be seeing 'Skyler' all over the place," he said.
The last time students voted for a mascot was in 1962, when they chose the Raider to replace the Aggie as the school's official mascot. Students and staff at FLC wanted to separate themselves from Colorado A&M (also the Aggies), and the charging Raider fit with the school's history as a military post.
FLC changed the school's official mascot again in 1994 upon the urging of Native American groups on campus that felt the warrior and cavalry aspects of the Raider image were offensive.
Former Fort Lewis College President Joel Jones agreed, and in 1994 doubled down, selecting a mascot he knew would offend no one - a bird that didn't even exist.
Local historian Duane Smith, who has recorded a comprehensive history of Fort Lewis College, said mascots in the 1960s and '70s wore Rutherford B. Hayes-era military attire at football games and charged up the field on horseback with the school standard flapping above.
Saturday night at Whalen Gymnasium, Skyler ran around the perimeter of the court, pumping his fist and taking pictures with kids, his bright blue feathers contrasting with the maple court. It being Breast Cancer Awareness Night, pink tape filled in for monochrome stitching on the back of his jersey, showing off his new name to fans.
"I'm a special breed of hawk," said Skyler before the game. "There's no other hawk like the Skyhawk."