By Cole Ray
I looked at my class schedule as we were driving to GWU to move in for my junior year. I said to myself, “Wow, I’m going to be on the newspaper staff! What will I write about?” This thought lingered as I made my way to the Tucker center to get my key. Then amongst the keys, lanyards and books was something quite unexpected. I saw him waddling amongst the many shoes. That is when I knew, this would be my first story. The mascot of Gardner-Webb University is the Runnin-Bulldog. Recently, a young canine named Bo was welcomed onto the campus as newest bulldog chosen to represent Gardner-Webb University.
Since 1922, Gardner-Webb has had a bulldog for a mascot. Butch came campus in 1944 as the first live mascot. Butch retired in 1953 and was replaced by Butch the second. Two years later, Chins became the mascot, followed by Victor in 1960, who served for nine years. After Victor’s retirement, Victor the Second took his place for one year.
However after this Victor, there were no live mascots for 40 years. until 2010 with Barney, who served from 2010 to 2014. Our most recent mascot, Roebuck started his job when Barney left in 2015. He was named in honor of Mike Roebuck who was on staff at GWU for fifteen years. Roebuck was the campus favorite and participated in a lot of campus activities and photoshoots. Roebuck officially retired on August 26, 2021, the same day that Bo officially became our newest mascot. Hopefully, Bo will bring happiness for many years.
“The best thing about Bo is the joy that he brings,” said Kimberly Kreuzman, Bo’s social media manager.
Bo’s manager hasn’t seen a staff member, a faculty member, or a student who doesn’t have a smile put on their face when he walks by. Bo attends, on average, five campus events a week. In the near future Bo will enroll in actual puppy etiquette school. As a puppy, the heat takes it toll on him. As the weather cools and Bo graduates from puppy school, we can look forward to him attending more events.
Bo is an English Bulldog. A veterinarian at the Hope Animal Hospital recommended a breeder in Clayton, North Carolina where Bo was adopted. Bo’s schedule follows a consistent pattern. In the morning, Bo gets up early, has his breakfast, and enjoys family-puppy time. Then, Bo goes to Gardner-Webb to preform his mascot duties.GWU assigned a member of the staff to take Bo home to his family at the end of the day.
He lights up the room whenever he toddles in. When polled, people agree. One student said, “I want to pet Bo because he is an incredibly cute puppy.”
He may only weigh seventeen pounds, but he is fully of energy and eager to please. Bo is the epitome of the young freshman just arriving at Gardner-Webb. Bo is just starting to build up his strength and will soon learn how to be the best mascot he can be.
Right now, Bo is learning basic commands like sit, down, and high five. During his day job, he eagerly greets and lovingly snuggles with students, staff and faculty. He draws crowds to him like a magnet. If somebody would like to request his appearance at an event, go to his Gardener-Webb website, which has a appearance request form. If you would like to follow him on social media, you can find him on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.