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

Handsome Dan is one busy bulldog. In his function as’s live mascot, he is one of the a lot of visible and also involved members of the area. When the pup isn’t “cheering on” Eli athletes from the sidelines, he’s showing up at university fundraisers, posing through UNITED STATE pinhabitants, starring in student movies, and also even helping out through Commencement, such as leading the procession through President Peter Salovey in 2017.

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The history of Handsome Dan is rooted in over a century of 18 various bulldogs who have held the mascot title. was the first college in the UNITED STATE to take on a live pet mascot, and also to today, Handsome Dan remains the most famous. The tradition of Handsome Dan was establiburned by Anattracted B. Graves from the Class of 1892, a member of both the crew and footround groups, that originated the mascot name for the English bulldog. Legend holds that Graves had seen a bulldog sitting in front of a regional shop, and also purchased him from a New Haven blacksmith for just $5. However, Harper, also a bulldog, was videotaped to be the predecessor of Handsome Dan.

In the beforehand 1890s, Handsome Dan I was referred to as the “ mascot.” Before baseball and footsphere games, the purebred bulldog was led throughout the area, and also the ritual quickly came to be a tradition at’s significant sporting events, expected to bestow confidence and also prosperity upon the athletes. After Graves graduated and relocated to England also, Dan I continued to be behind through Graves’ younger brvarious other, fellow undergraduate William Leon Graves, where Dan I continued to indicate athleticism and confidence across campus. 

Upon his passing in 1898, the first-generation mascot was stuffed and sealed in a glass instance in the Payne Whitney Gymnasium, wbelow “he is the perpetual guardian of the treasures which attest to generation of athletic glory,” according to previous history professor Stanton Ford. went without a bulldog for three years after Dan I’s death. But in 1933, the class of 1937 chose to readjust that. The course accumulated pennies from students, and purchased a new bulldog, called “Dour Doruna,” who was christened Handsome Dan II. In the years given that Dan II, 16 more bulldogs have been bestowed the title and also function of “Handsome Dan” on the death or retirement of the previous mascot.

The university has actually likewise provided the heritage of Handsome Dan to celebrate crucial turning points in the campus neighborhood. Bingo, the first and only female in the chain of bulldogs at, was adopted once the university first admitted woguys in 1969, and also she reigned in the time of the 1970s.

Wtransform, Handsome Dan XVIII (Photo credit: Michael Marsland)’s latest bulldog, Walter — called after footsphere legend Wtransform Camp — was born on Sept. 23, 2016, and also was introduced later that loss as Handsome Dan XVIII. Of the 18 Handsome Dans, Walter is the first Olde English Bulldogge, a different breed from the others, that were all purebred English Bulldogs and suffered from myriad wellness problems as a result of their breeding. Walter’s instant predecessor, Shermale, Handsome Dan XVII, passed away in the summer of 2016, a lot of likely as a result of a heart assault, and also Whizzer, Handsome Dan XIV, passed away from equivalent health and wellness problems. At the request of Chris Getmale, former caretaker of 4 Handsome Dans — Shermale, Maurice, Whizzer, and Louis — when selecting Wtransform, made the switch to an Olde English Bulldogge, a brand-new bulldog breed created in the 1970s as a more athletic and also healthier different to the previous mascots.

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While the 130-year tradition of Handsome Dan is very cheriburned by the neighborhood, Wtransform represents hope for the future of bulldog breeding and also for generations of Handsome Dans to come.

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

“It’s been an tremendous honor being part of the lengthy background of mascots at Wchange and also I have been able to accomplish so many excellent human being and also have actually attfinished unforgettable occasions. It’s fun to watch exactly how a lot joy he brings to everyone,” states Discepelo. “Personally, some of my favorite moments are once he’s not being a “celebrity,” but simply a consistent dog, going for hikes and also playing in the backyard at house.”

Handsome Dan XVIII has actually been featured in Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports, and Alumni Magazine, and also you have the right to find Wchange in his workarea at the Ray Tompkins House Office.