The Eagles is the fourth official nickname for the teams of Georgia Southern University. The earliest mention of athletic teams is in 1909, referencing the "'Culture" football and baseball teams, a popular nickname for the institution's first name, First District Agricultural and Mechanical School. In the early 1920s, the teams sported different names, with some called the "Aggies" and the baseball team going by the "Normal Nine."
When the school changed names in 1924, the athletic teams followed suit, adopting the name "Blue Tide" until 1941. After World War II, when many of the sports programs were reinstated, the teams were referred to as the "Professors" or the "Teachers," honoring the school's mission as a teachers' college. In 1959 when the school became Georgia Southern College, a campus-wide contest and vote was held to determine the new mascot. "Eagles," a named submitted by sophomore Ralph Swords of Augusta, Ga., was chosen by a narrow margin and was officially adopted as the new nickname.
Having one American bald eagle as a resident on campus is certainly special, but having multiple eagles is truly unique. As part of the Center for Wildlife Education and the Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center, Georgia Southern University is the permanent home to three bald eagles, one of our nation's most visible symbols and an emblem of courage.
Located on 18 acres in the heart of the Georgia Southern University campus, the eagles Freedom, Glory, and Franklin reside in an area complete with a wetlands area, an old-growth forest and a mountain display. This provides an opportunity for the eagles to live in their natural environments. An elevated walkway allows visitors an unobstructed and up-close encounter with an eagles nest, often habitated by Glory, the 23-year-old matriarch of the Center.