By Qingcheng Huang, the OISS 2012 Summer Intern
I keep seeing this humorous-looking bulldog around the Yale campus; he's on our campus map, on the Yale shuttle bus, and on the T-shirts. He appears on signs and posters in different uniforms, with a Yale baseball cap, or a pair of glasses.
Yes, it is Handsome Dan, Yale’s famous mascot! Before I saw Handsome Dan II at the Yale Visitor Center, I thought there was only one dog. Then I discovered there are actually a series of Handsome Dans. The title is passed from one generation to the next. Handsome Dan must have a few essential characteristics: he must be unafraid of the symbols of Harvard and Princeton, he must be friendly towards children and seniors, and he must be clean and well-cared for, etc.
Feeling curious, I began a search to find more Handsome Dans around the campus. I unexpectedly found a lady at Yale Dining Services with a Handsome Dan statue on her desk. She won a Yale Long Service Award, which honors an employee who has been working at Yale for more than thirty years.
Yale also provides cute souvenirs (such as key rings, stuffed toys and paperweights) featuring Handsome Dan.
(Also, a reminder: do bring the 15% off discount card with you if you plan to shop at the Yale Bookstore. This coupon can be found at the Yale Visitor Center).
I went to the Payne Whitney Gym, hoping to meet the real-life Handsome Dan XVII. Unfortunately, he was not there and I was only able to see a bronze statue, which is life-like (and perhaps a little melancholy from this angle).
On the web, I found a video that was taken from the perspective of the reigning bulldog. It is called "The Dan Cam: A Handsome Dan View of Yale's 2012" which shows the mascot's view of commencement. Almost everybody noticed him and many people patted him on the head and took pictures of him.
I will end my report with a picture of a logo you often see on Yale T-shirts: a symbol of Yale University Athletics. Actually, the first Handsome Dan inspired the first fight song of Yale, "Bull-Dog."
What makes the Handsome Dan unique is that, the bulldog is kind of a spiritual symbol as well as a real-life animal. Isn't it wonderful that you can touch the mascot of your university during commencement and sporting events? The only problem is that this mascot might be lured away by the opposing team.
Links to attractions mentioned in this post: