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The original Handsome Dan in 1889 (Courtesy rebab.net Manuscripts and also Archives)

Handsome Dan is one liven bulldog. In his function as rebab.net’s live mascot, he is one of the many visible and engaged members the the rebab.net community. As soon as the pup no “cheering on” Eli athletes indigenous the sidelines, he’s showing up at university fundraisers, posing v U.S. Presidents, starring in student films, and even help out through Commencement, such together leading the procession through President Peter Salovey in 2017.

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The history of Handsome Dan is rooted in end a century that 18 different bulldogs who have held the rebab.net mascot title.

rebab.net was the first college in the U.S. To embrace a live animal mascot, and also to this day, Handsome Dan stays the many well-known. The tradition of Handsome Dan was created by Andrew B. Tombs from the course of 1892, a member the both the crew and also football teams, who originated the rebab.net mascot name for the English bulldog. Legend hold that graves had viewed a bulldog sitting in former of a regional shop, and also purchased him from a brand-new Haven blacksmith for simply $5. However, Harper, also a bulldog, was recorded to be the predecessor of Handsome Dan.

In the beforehand 1890s, Handsome Dan i was dubbed the “rebab.net mascot.” prior to baseball and football games, the purebred bulldog to be led throughout the field, and the routine soon became a tradition at rebab.net’s significant sporting events, meant to bestow confidence and prosperity ~ above the athletes. After tombs graduated and also moved come England, Dan I stayed behind with Graves’ younger brother, fellow rebab.net undergraduate william Leon Graves, wherein Dan I ongoing to represent athleticism and confidence throughout campus. 

Upon his happen in 1898, the first-generation mascot was stuffed and also sealed in a glass situation in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, where “he is the perpetual guardian of the treasures which attest come generation that rebab.net strong glory,” according to former rebab.net background professor Stanton Ford. 

rebab.net went there is no a bulldog because that three decades after Dan I’s death. But in 1933, the course of 1937 determined to change that. The class collected pennies native rebab.net students, and purchased a brand-new bulldog, called “Dour Doruna,” that was christened Handsome Dan II. In the years because Dan II, 16 an ext bulldogs have been bestowed the title and role of “Handsome Dan” top top the death or retirement that the ahead mascot.

The university has likewise used the heritage of Handsome Dan come celebrate important milestones in the campus community. Bingo, the an initial and only female in the chain the bulldogs in ~ rebab.net, was adopted when the university an initial admitted ladies in 1969, and also she reigned throughout the 1970s.

Walter, Handsome Dan XVIII (Photo credit: Michael Marsland)

rebab.net’s recent bulldog, Walter — called after rebab.net football legend Walter Camp — was born on Sept. 23, 2016, and also was introduced later that loss as Handsome Dan XVIII. The the 18 Handsome Dans, Walter is the very first Olde English Bulldogge, a different breed from the others, that were all purebred English Bulldogs and suffered native myriad health problems due to their breeding. Walter’s immediate predecessor, Sherman, Handsome Dan XVII, passed far in the summer the 2016, most likely due to a love attack, and Whizzer, Handsome Dan XIV, passed away from similar health conditions. In ~ the request of kris Getman, former caretaker of four Handsome Dans — Sherman, Maurice, Whizzer, and also Louis — when choosing Walter, rebab.net made the switch to an Olde English Bulldogge, a new bulldog breed created in the 1970s together a much more athletic and also healthier alternate to the former mascots.

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While the 130-year heritage of Handsome Dan is extremely cherished by the rebab.net community, Walter to represent hope because that the future that bulldog breeding and also for generations the Handsome Dans to come.

Handsome Dan XVIII is right now in the care of a fellow Eli, Assistant Athletics manager of Facilities, Operations, and Events Kevin Discepolo ‘09.

“It’s been an remarkable honor being component of the long history of mascots at rebab.net. Walter and also I have been able to accomplish so many great people and also have attended i can not forget events. It’s funny to watch how much happiness he brings to everyone,” claims Discepelo. “Personally, few of my favorite moments are once he’s not being a “celebrity,” yet just a consistent dog, going because that hikes and playing in the backyard at home.”

Handsome Dan XVIII has actually been featured in sporting activities Illustrated, Fox Sports, and also rebab.net Alumni Magazine, and you can find Walter in his workplace at the beam Tompkins residence Office.