Tags: Yale Mascot | Handsome Dan | Dies

Beloved Yale Mascot 'Handsome Dan,' Who Met Presidents, Rockers, Dies

Image: Beloved Yale Mascot 'Handsome Dan,' Who Met Presidents, Rockers, Dies

Yale Bulldog mascot Handsome Dan XVII during the game as the Harvard Crimson take on the Yale Bulldogs on the Class of 1954 Field at Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut on November 21, 2015 (Photo by Williams Paul/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

By    |   Friday, 19 Aug 2016 02:07 PM

A friendly English bulldog who served as Yale University's official mascot and greeted visiting politicians and celebrities for nine years has passed away.

Officials say Handsome Dan XVII, who weighed in at 65 pounds and was crowned the university's mascot in 2006 when he was just six months old, likely suffered a heart attack.

The brindle and white pooch affectionately and tirelessly greeted students and faculty at the Ivy League school's football and baseball games. And he offered his beefy paw to such notable visitors as former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter and famed rocker Paul McCartney.

"He loved his job, was very enthusiastic and brought joy to a lot of people," Yale graduate Chris Getman, who served as Handsome Dan XVII's caretaker, told YaleBulldogs.com.

Getman said Dan had been experiencing seizures earlier this summer but was taking medication and seemed to be doing well.

Known for his sweet temperament and playful nature, Dan was fond of "giving out big, wet bulldog kisses to his admirers," Yale University's news bureau said. "He [was] comfortable in a noisy crowd and enjoys getting hugs and attention from children and adults alike."

Aside from appearances at games, Dan raised money for charity, attended graduations and participated in Yale's Bulldog Days for prospective freshmen.

Dan XVII is one in a long line of English bulldogs who've been feted at Yale. The university became the first college to have a live mascot in 1889 when an undergraduate bought Handsome Dan I from a local blacksmith for $5.

University officials have not yet named a successor to Handsome Dan XVII, although he'll be named Handsome Dan XVIII.

The traits they look for in a bulldog include sociability, the ability to tolerate marching bands and, maybe most importantly, an aversion to tigers and the color crimson — the despised symbols of rivals Princeton and Harvard.

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A friendly English bulldog who served as Yale University's official mascot and greeted visiting politicians and celebrities for nine years has passed away.
Yale Mascot, Handsome Dan, Dies
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2016-07-19
Friday, 19 Aug 2016 02:07 PM
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