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Georgetown's nickname is a Hoya, but its mascot is a bulldog. This bulldog is known as Jack, but many other dogs through the years have been a part of Georgetown teams.
According to Georgetown Magazine, dogs were associated with the campus at least through 1862, and a photo of an unidentified canine is seen at an early football game on the campus.
The first named mascot at Georgetown was a bull terrier named Stubby, who was already somewhat of a national hero following his service in World War I. (To read the story of "Sergeant Stubby", click here.)
Following Stubby, a terrier named Jazz Bo was renamed appropriately, "Hoya", and became a fan favorite. This terrier was frequently seen at Georgetown football games in the 1920's and 1930's. A third terrier, "Hoya II", prowled the sidelines in the late 1930's.
Following World War II, a number of mascots came and went in brief succession. A line of Great Danes, variously nicknamed "Bo", "Butch", and "Hobo" were seen in college yearbooks and promotional material through 1951 until Georgetown dropped major college football. A color photo in the 1955 Ye Domesday Booke introduced a terrier named "Hoya IV", but there is no further record how long he served as mascot...nor whatever became of Hoya III.
In 1962, a student committee sought a new mascot, choosing a three year Old English Bulldog in the style of Handsome Dan, the Yale mascot. Formally named "Lil-Nan's Royal Jacket", Georgetown's dog was supposed to be called "Hoya" but never seemed to answer to "Hoya" when called. He did answer to the name "Jack", however, and so the dog was soon given a new name. The name of "Jack" and the breed of English Bulldog was formally adopted, adding the blue and gray cap once worn by freshmen onto its emblem.
Jack served five years in the role, prevailing over various campus complaints that he barked too much at night or was prone to sleeping through the day, as bulldogs are wont to do. A second dog of lesser complaint, "Jack II", served from 1967-73. The HOYA reported that a pup from Jack II, cleverly named "Jackson", was to follow in his dad's footsteps but this dog quickly faded from discussion.
By 1979, Georgetown was one of the first schools to employ a "human mascot", a student in the now familiar blue and gray bulldog suit. The anthropomorphic "Jack" now appears at major athletic and social events, and is among the most recognizable college mascots in the nation. For a time, he was joined during the 1980's by "Rocky", a bulldog in a blue and gray dog sweater which traveled to many home games at Capital Centre.
A bulldog pup returned to campus in the summer of 1999 and the new "Jack" became an instant celebrity on campus. When Rev. Scott Pilarz, S.J. was named president of the University of Scranton in the spring of 2003, Jack opted to retire to Pennsylvania with his owner. By summer, a new bulldog of the same name (technically "Jack V", but also given the formal nom-de-plume "John S. Carroll") arrived to carry on the duties of Georgetown's top dog under the tutelage of Rev. Christopher Steck. Rev. Steck is joined by "Jack's Crew", a group of students entrusted with regular care and feeding of the dog, who can be seen on campus at a variety of events and at Verizon Center, where he regularly attacks a cereal box at midcourt adorned with the colors of that day's opponent.
In 2012, Jack suffered a partial tear of his ACL. Thanks to the gift of Georgetown parents, the next generation of mascot was donated to the University. Jack Jr., or "J.J" for short. He served as the mascot in training and heir apparent to the elder Jack in 2012-13, but his tenure was cut short later that summer over a legal action against the University which forced him off-campus. J.J. was sucessfully adopted by a local resident, and the campus awaits the announcement of the seventh Jack mascot to follow soon.
(Photo credit: Georgetown University)
Terrier, 1925-1930 (?)
Great Dane, 1930's
Terrier, late 1930's
Great Dane, early 1940's
Great Dane, mid 1940's
Great Dane, early 1950's
Terrier, mid 1950's
Bulldog, mid 1970's