When Sam Watkins was asked to reimagine the University of Iowa seal, he focused on the centerpiece of the symbol: a hawk.
“How did the hawk become the UI mascot?” wondered Watkins, a Cedar Rapids native who graduated from the UI in May with a bachelor’s degree in art and graphic design.
His colorful interpretation of the seal, infused with hues reminiscent of Native American artwork, reflects what he discovered—the term “Hawkeye” came, in part, from the name of the protagonist in James Fenimore Cooper’s best-selling novel The Last of the Mohicans.
“I chose to represent my hawk with colors to represent the diversity of the UI today,” he says.
Watkins is among eight former and current students asked to redesign the historic UI seal in a way that reflects their experiences as Hawkeyes and to convey what the university means to them.