Luke the Laker exceeds expectations

Emani Burton, Staff Writer

Eight months after the death of his predecessor, Luke the Laker, has been named Mascot of the Month by the design company, Street Characters. First announced in December 2015, Laker pride has carried over into the Spring semester.

“We are extremely excited, honored even, to be highlighted as the Mascot of the Month, said activities and spirit coordinator, Preston Reilly.
Reilly played an integral part in Luke the Laker’s creation and continues to manage his appearances at student events.

“As an advisor for the mascot program, it’s my responsibility to help Lakers feel like Mercyhurst is a community, ” Reilly said.

“Luke is hardworking, determined and motivated; the ideals that we feel best represent a Mercyhurst Laker.”

Luke the Laker, a retired Irish fisherman, sports a classic beard, seafarers cap and anchor tattoo. Luke continues a succession of human mascots for the University, including the Old Man and the Sea and his uncle, Louie the Laker. Both were Irish fisherman, with connections to the Sisters of Mercy. However, for all of his tradition, Luke has proved to be the most digitally integrated Mercyhurst mascot.

“He’s strong, approachable and relatable,” Reilly said. Curious Lakers can follow Luke’s twitter feed @LuketheLaker and post digital shout-outs using #Lukethelaker. Students may have seen Luke’s introduction video on YouTube. Perhaps this social media savviness is why Street Characters chose Luke as their December mascot. Luke’s biography and statistics can be found on the Street Characters website.

The award is a prestigious honor, but is merely a title, with no physical awards or medals. This distinction means a lot to the Mercyhurst student spirit division, who believe this is a positive confirmation of the changes to the mascot program.

The student activities council is committed to keeping Luke an active member of the Mercyhurst community. Since his introduction to students in September, Luke has attended several events, including Hurst Day, on Oct. 7, 2015.

Most recently, Luke drew caricatures of students in the Union on Tuesday, Feb. 9. For an hour, students were treated to free artist renderings of themselves by Luke.

Luke is preparing for a special event during the Men’s basketball game against Seton Hill on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7:30 p.m.

“We are open to student involvement,” Reilly said “ We are really looking forward to this year, Luke is special and we are proud to have that recognized.”

Students interested with involving themselves in the mascot program can email Reilly at, or schedule a meeting with him in the student life office suites, located on the second floor of the Student Union.