College mascots: Yale searches for new Handsome Dan
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Yale Department of Athletics is looking for a canine worthy of being the most famous college mascot. Handsome Dan XVIII will be introduced later this year.
The 17th Dan, Sherman, passed away last month after serving the university for more than nine years.
The athletics department will be contacting breeders this fall to find a dog with the strength and stamina to perform the demanding role. The next Handsome Dan might be part of an existing or future litter.
Once Yale selects a dog, there will be a naming contest. The new Dan, who will live with a member of the athletic department and have a small team of handlers, will attend a private canine school befitting an Ivy icon. The mascot will have its own social media accounts, including a live Bulldog cam.
Handsome Dan XVIII will spend most of its weekdays in the athletic department and be very accessible to the Yale community. That might include regular petting hours at the Payne Whitney Gym and many of the functions recent mascots have attended.
Handsome Dan I in 1889 was the first college mascot. A student, Andrew Graves, who played football and rowed at Yale, was the original caretaker. Chris Getman, a former Eli baseball player, took care of Yale’s mascots (Maurice, Whizzer, Louis, Sherman) for most of the last 33 years.