MESA — Benedictine University at Mesa debuted its new Redhawks athletic logo during a Jan. 22

school spirit celebration that sent students home with Redhawk T-shirts and pennants.

Nickname and logo selection came after considerable planning, research and student involvement, said Kevin Broeckling, associate vice president for Student Life at Benedictine University at Mesa.

“We wanted to choose something that was recognizable and embodied our students’ strength of character,” Broeckling said. “Redhawks have a very recognizable call and soar to great heights with grace and beauty. They also help balance the earth’s ecosystem.

“Likewise, the Redhawks at Benedictine University at Mesa have the strength of spirit and conviction to soar to great heights in their careers and personal lives, serving others, living life in balance and being faithful stewards of the Earth.”

Steve Schafer, associate athletic director at Benedictine, said students and staff are well-prepared for what he predicts will be a competitive and successful athletic season. Volleyball and tennis for men and women will compete in the spring.

“Each day is exciting and history-making as we start a new chapter, not only within athletics, but also as a University,” Schafer said. “Our intent is to recruit bright and talented students who can use college-level athletics to develop into responsible citizens within their respectively chosen careers.”

Softball, men’s basketball, cheerleading and dance will debut in 2015-2016, while Benedictine’s men’s and women’s golf and cross country teams compete for the second time on the intercollegiate level.

The University has applied for membership with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). Acceptance means BenU’s Mesa teams can qualify and compete in national tournaments and championships.

Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and licensed by the Arizona State Board for Private Postsecondary Education to operate an accredited, degree-granting institution of higher learning in Arizona.