news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb Introduces New Live Mascot, Bo The Bulldog

English Bulldog Puppy Officially Begins His Duties on Aug. 26

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University’s new live mascot has a name. Bo was selected from more than 200 entries submitted for consideration. The new pup is engaged in basic etiquette training, before he officially begins his duties on Aug. 26. In the days ahead, GWU’s four-legged best friend will be a familiar sight to all on campus and in the community.

GWU President Dr. William Downs with Bo

“The start of a new academic year brings with it a sense of new energy and renewal, and nothing captures that spirit at Gardner-Webb better than the introduction of a new mascot,” explained GWU President Dr. William Downs. “Bo the Bulldog is a cute, lovable little puppy right now, but we know he’ll soon grow into a wonderful representation of the fun and fierceness that comes with GWU Athletics.”

Downs added, “Historically, ‘Bo’ derives as a nickname meaning ‘to live’ or ‘living’—making it a perfect match for the infusion of life we’re bringing to this new era of Bulldog sports. ‘Bo’ is also solidly connected to football greatness (think Bo Jackson), to upbeat, lively music (think Bo Diddley), to a former First Dog of the United States (in the White House from 2009-2017), and to some of our favorite tailgating food (well, you know the restaurant). Fans of all ages will want to ‘Say Hello to Bo.’ We can’t wait to introduce him!”

Chuck Burch, vice president for Athletics, also expressed his enthusiasm for the new canine ambassador. “The introduction of a live mascot in 2015 was well received by our alumni base, and continuing that tradition with a precocious new bulldog is a tremendous way to show our school spirit,” he remarked. “As our students return to campus, I am sure they will all welcome our new puppy with open arms.”

One person on campus who is eager to meet Bo is Karen Davis, administrative assistant to the dean and copy cataloger in the GWU Library. After studying his picture and doing a little research, she submitted the name for consideration. “I thought the puppy looked like a Bo,” she said. “I looked up the characteristics of the name, and a couple of the adjectives are powerful and tough.”  

Student Body President
Jada Newton and Bo

Jada Newton, ’21, student body president, just happened to be on campus when Bo came for a preliminary visit. “I think he represents the atmosphere coming into this new semester and year—a fresh start and a new perspective,” she observed. “Coming out of a crazy year, we are returning to the same Gardner-Webb campus but have a new youthful and optimistic perspective approaching our future with each other and at the University.”

Bo is an English Bulldog from a breeder in Garner, N.C. The University plans to involve him in full-time activities with the enrollment team, alumni group, athletics teams and community groups as well. He will be a full-time ambassador for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.

“When we first met our good boy in July, we knew right away he was something special,” observed Kim Kreuzman, GWU social media manager. “He was sweet, but also rambunctious—the perfect mix needed for his future role. To say we were excited to bring him home later that month would be an understatement. For students and the community, we know many of them were sad to hear that Roebuck would be retiring, but the joy of watching our puppy grow to become our much-loved mascot is exciting. He’s got some big paws to fill, and he is already working on bulldog basics—sit, stay, and high-five!”

A university staff member (and family) will serve as Bo’s caretakers and others across the campus community will be designated to provide daily attention, support and training for him. Hope Animal Hospital in Shelby, N.C., will provide veterinary services. Dr. Deanna Moseley Lawrence, a 1999 graduate of N.C. State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Raleigh, N.C., established Hope in June 2009 as a full-service small animal hospital that provides medical and surgical care. “We are excited to be Bo’s veterinarian and look forward to many years of getting loads of kisses from this sweet boy,” Lawrence affirmed.

Veterinarian Deanna Moseley and Veterinary Technician Kristen Hurdt
Veterinarian Deanna Moseley, left, and
Veterinary Technician Kristen Hurdt with Bo

Previous live mascot, Roebuck “Bucky,” retires on Aug. 24, after serving the University for six years. He quickly became a campus favorite with students, the community and athletics. Now at 7 years old, Roebuck has been designated with Mascot Emeritus status.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at Gardner-Webb.edu.

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