Why the Monks?


Saint Joseph's is the only college or university in the United States, in any division, to have "The Monks" as its nickname. What is a "Monk"? The term "Monk" describes a priest or religious who has dedicated his life to the church. Throughout history, traits common to Monks the world over include: "togetherness," "a group coming together with one purpose," "the struggles and importance of self-sacrifice," "physical and mental discipline," and "inner energy" - all traits that make for a good teammate, a good student-athlete. The Saint Joseph's College athletic teams proudly wear the nickname, "The Monks."

The history of Saint Joseph's College becoming "The Monks" dates back to 1970. It was only one year after the Board of Trustees decided that the College would become co-educational that then-College President Bernard P. Currier hired Christopher Kiernan from Assumption College to be the Director of Admissions and the Director of Athletics.

Up to that point, athletics at Saint Joseph's was more of an activity for the students than a competitive varsity program. Chris Kiernan was challenged to make the change to varsity sports and was literally starting from square one with no budget. The first big question -- where would he get uniforms? From his time at Assumption College, Kiernan knew that Assumption Prep was about to close its doors, so he called the prep school and asked if he could have their team uniforms. Assumption Prep sent Kiernan the uniforms and on the uniforms was the prep school's nickname: "Monks." So, from that point forward, the Saint Joseph's teams were known as "The Monks."

One of the earliest Monk keepsakes in the Saint Joseph's College Athletics Department came from friends of President Currier. Fr. Edmond Haughey, C.S.C., Dean of Admissions at Stonehill College, and Fr. John Corr, C.S.C., President of Stonehill College, who was also a member of Saint Joseph's Board of Trustees, were traveling in Ireland one summer and purchased the small wooden replica of a Monk for President Currier. President Currier kept the Monk statue in his office until he passed away in December 1978, when it was given to Chris Kiernan by President Currier's widow. Kiernan returned the Monk to Saint Joseph's at the inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony in November 2000. That work of art has become a fixture in the Saint Joseph's College Athletics Department and can still be found in the offices today.

The Monk logo has seen many versions, one was put to cartoon form in the 1970s and revised in 1999 by local cartoonist Steve Meyers. Meyers was also a political cartoonist for the Portland Press Herald and, at the time, had done mascot drawings for other colleges and schools in the area.

In April 2007, a new version of the Monk logo was unveiled. Created by Patrick Corey of DesignM-DesignW, the new mark brought a new look just in time for Saint Joseph's entry into the Great Northeast Athletic Conference, the College's first-ever full-time membership in an NCAA Division III conference.

In the summer of 2019, the latest iteration of the Monks logo was revealed. Eric Rickabaugh, owner and creative director at Rickabaugh Graphics, an Ohio based company with extensive experience in collegiate athletics branding, was the principal designer behind the artwork. Rickabaugh worked closely with several members of the SJC Athletics staff to create new marks that both modernize the former iteration and assist in differentiating "Saint Joseph's College of Maine" from other similarly named institutions. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

"After nearly 15 years with our former logo, the time was right to modernize our marks," said Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications Corey McCarthy. "In the last four years our student-athletes have brought distinction to our athletic programs by capturing 12 conference championships with 13 national tournament appearances while earning numerous academic, conference, regional and national honors. We have also witnessed growth in our fundraising support, sponsorships participation, and attendance at our games. Being the only NCAA institution with the Monks moniker, we feel this new design will appropriately represent us on the national stage."

Current and former student-athletes know they are unique and know they carry a special tradition when they don the Saint Joseph's College royal blue and white. GO MONKS!!