PHOTO ESSAY: Rocky Celebrates His 20th Birthday with Family and Friends

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Published October 7, 2021
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The Montclarion
Students grab a picture with their favorite bird inside of the Student Center ballroom. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

To celebrate Rocky the Red Hawk’s 20th birthday, students gathered outside of the Student Center on Oct. 5 for a birthday parade, followed by many other fun activities. The line to enter the indoor festivities, located in the Student Center ballroom, was long and filled with the commotion of excited students.

Celebrating Rocky’s birthday is the school’s way to show its appreciation for all that Rocky does for everyone at Montclair State University. After having a relatively small birthday party last year, the larger crowd seemed to be a welcoming sight to Rocky. The school’s bird is usually the center of attention, but on his birthday, the amount of love and appreciation he received from students was far greater than usual, with everyone making sure to show him how much he means to them.

Preparation for Rocky's 20th birthday and his parade outside of the Student Center Photo courtesy of Brianna Badolato

Preparation for Rocky’s 20th birthday and his parade outside of the Student Center.
Photo courtesy of Brianna Badolato

After the parade, everyone met back outside of the Student Center to take pictures with their favorite bird and his family.

Rocky takes a small group photo outside of the Student Center. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Rocky takes a group photo outside of the Student Center.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Even the youngest of future Red Hawks were there to wish Rocky a happy birthday, and the rare sighting of Rocky’s family was definitely a welcome surprise. Rocky is meaningful not only to the students of Montclair State but to their families and friends as well.

Future Red Hawk greets Rocky's family outside of the Student Center. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

A future Red Hawk greets Rocky’s family outside of the Student Center.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Students had the opportunity to pick out a cape of their choice and decorate it with markers. There were also limited-edition Rocky shirts given out to students. Rocky, as always, was working hard to ensure everyone felt welcome and was having fun.

Students decorating capes inside of the Student Center ballroom. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Students decorate capes inside of the Student Center ballroom.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Many students were decorating and showing off their new capes.

Rocky strikes a magnificent pose inside of the Student Center. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Rocky strikes a pose inside of the Student Center.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

During all of the festivities, students were encouraged to take pictures, dance and just have fun with Rocky. Toward the end of the party, Rocky took to the dance floor and began to dance with anyone who wanted to participate. Students laughed and enjoyed celebrating Rocky’s special day with him.

Students with their newly made capes inside of the Student Center ballroom. Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

Students with their newly made capes inside of the Student Center ballroom.
Photo courtesy of Karsten Englander

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