A Conversation With Temple’s Most Famous Owl Not Named Stella
Temple’s resident mascot, Hooter, is the epitome of a school spirit prodigy. Standing at five and a half feet tall, the furry owl spends his days spreading school spirit throughout campus.
Although Hooter cannot talk, communicating with him isn’t too difficult. His best friend, Matt Martino, transcribes everything he says.
Often seen traversing campus on his famous scooter, Hooter “flies” and makes friends with students and faculty members every day.
Hooter is technically a student at Temple, but he does not take any classes. He is a “forever Temple student,” and said he’s “just doing his thing” on campus.
Hooter’s favorite part of being on campus is the school spirit that he gets to spread. Not only does he enjoy sharing his love of Temple by interacting with students, he also appreciates its diversity. He recognizes that each student has a story to tell.
“Walking down campus isn’t possible without giving everyone a high-five,” Hooter said.
Hooter was born and raised in North Philadelphia, right here at Temple. He’s been around for decades and has lived on campus his whole life. He lives in a secret nest in an unknown location on campus.
Hooter attends all home football games and most other athletic events, including some away games. Temple’s successful 2015 football season increased Hooter’s popularity. As opposed to the one or two appearances he used to make a week, he now makes six or seven — he’s an owl in high demand. He’s given out more Temple gear this year than ever, and hangs out in the Student Center more often.
There has been a large increase in Temple pride because of the football team’s success. Hooter said he knows a lot of the rival mascots, and one of his most popular frenemy relationships is with St. Joseph University’s Hawk. There was a famous fight about 15 years ago between Hooter and The Hawk. It got pretty bad. Although they remain school rivals, the relationship between the two has since improved.
Hooter treats a few lucky students to coffee or lunch each week. He regularly uses his special Hooter ID card loaded with Diamond Dollars to buy meals for students who show amazing school spirit.
Everyone knows Hooter as being outrageously outgoing, spirited and a great friend to Temple students overall. Students who have had the pleasure of meeting Hooter during their time at Temple have no complaints about the mascot — he is the prime example of what it means to be a proud Temple Owl.
Written by Lauren Waksman
Photographed by Jademan Baker