news-category: Campus News

Gardner-Webb’s Live Mascot Retiring in August; New Puppy Needs a Name

a female student pets Roebuck

Roebuck ‘Bucky’ has Served University Since 2015

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb’s “pawsitively” lovable mascot, Roebuck “Bucky,” is retiring on Aug. 24, after serving the University for six years. Bucky quickly became a campus favorite as he toddled and slobbered his way into the hearts of students, the community and athletics.

“The addition of Roebuck to the University family instantly created excitement around campus and enhanced the game day experience,” observed GWU Vice President for Athletics, Chuck Burch. “Roebuck was immensely popular with our fans, young and old alike. All of us in the Athletics Department are appreciative of Brooke Greene (Roebuck’s caretaker) and her family for the sacrifices they made to make Roebuck available and their willingness to share him with us.”

First introduced at the home opener football game in 2015, Bucky was named in honor of Mike Roebuck, an avid runner, cyclist, and triathlete. Mike had worked at Gardner-Webb for nearly 20 years in roles like assistant athletics director for Academic Services and director of Financial Aid. Mike passed away unexpectedly on March 4, 2015, yet his name still lived on when Roebuck was introduced.

Bucky enjoys spending time on campus and cheering on the Runnin’ Bulldogs. Some of his favorite things to do are greet students and receive ear scratches. Aliah Price, ’19, and Bryan Morales-Gonzalez, ’20, said everyone loved seeing Roebuck waddle toward them. “Roebuck was awesome to work with and brought a smile to everyone’s face any time they saw him on campus,” Morales-Gonzalez offered.

“Seeing Roebuck on campus brought a sense of zen to students,” Price added. “There was never a moment that students didn’t stop during their treks to class to pet him or even snap a selfie. He brought calm to the storm college can be.”   

Roebuck also sat patiently for numerous photo shoots and starred in several videos during his post as the official live mascot. His videos always received the highest engagement on social media channels as he celebrated various holidays, promoted healthy practices during COVID-19, and detailed campus life and other topics. Sarah Bragdon, ’21, appeared in a video with Roebuck that featured the best things about the spring semester. “He is the cutest mascot and I had a great time going to the winter formal with him in the video,” she shared.

Michaela Bissinger, ’19, was in the same video. “Roebuck was without a doubt one of my highlights,” she said. “He was always so excited to be around fellow Runnin’ Bulldogs and even more if there was pizza involved! He’s the best mascot!”

“I love Roebuck,” asserted Gardner-Webb Student Body President Jada Newton, ’21. “He represents and brings so much to the Gardner-Webb campus wherever he goes. I love seeing him on campus and at football games. He gets everyone excited and proud to be a Runnin’ Bulldog.”

Ezekiel Martin, ’19, works at Gardner-Webb as an admissions counselor. In a video about Valentine’s day, he and Roebuck were shown working out in the fitness center. “Roebuck, keep up the great work, big fella,” Martin advised. “Bulldogs forever! I always enjoyed our workouts together and helping you find a Valentine. Roebuck, you brought life to this campus, and I enjoyed our study breaks, too.”

Name the Next GWU Bulldog

Gardner-Webb’s new puppy officially begins his service on Aug. 26. He will be meeting his veterinarian at Hope Animal Hospital and getting ready to start his duties as GWU’s mascot. In the meantime, he needs a name, and fans are invited to submit their favorite one opens in a new windowhere.

Roebuck’s memorable moments

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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