Mapping Georgetown: Jack the Bulldog
By September 26, 2022 0 678•
Meandering through the crowd at the annual Georgetown Community Day event held on the Healy Lawn of Georgetown University last weekend, whom did we encounter? No less than local celebrity Jack the Bulldog!
Wow! And, Woof!
So, like a dog looking for a bone, Mapping Georgetown had to dig in and find out more.
Did you know, for instance, that Jack’s full name is actually… John F. Carroll.
And, if you go to Jack’s official website at Georgetown University, you’ll find out all sorts of other fun details.
“Jack the Bulldog is Georgetown University’s official mascot – a well-known figure who is a beloved presence at Georgetown sporting events and campus activities,” the site says.
“The class of 1964 brought the first Jack the Bulldog to campus in 1962. According to popular legend, the puppy refused to answer to the name that students gave him (Hoya) and only responded to “Jack.”
If you sniff around this site, you’ll also learn how you can visit Jack, have him appear at social functions, and even about his special relationship to Jesuit theology.
Here are some more fun facts from the site about Jack:
Name: Jack the Bulldog
Official Papered Name: IROC Casagrande John F. Carroll
Born: January 24, 2019
Arrival at Georgetown: July 24, 2019
Birthplace: Alberta, Canada
Weight: 64 lbs
Color: White with red brindle markings
Lineage: Son of the Champion IROC African Rhythm (known as Mufassa) and Champion Casa Grande’s Ready Eddy
Home: Georgetown University
Favorite pastimes: Playing with his dog friends, chasing sports balls and falling leaves, playing with his toy armadillo and watching Hoya athletics
Favorite food: Blueberries and strawberries
Favorite hangouts: Koi pond by White-Gravenor, Alumni House courtyard
A History of Dogs at Georgetown
Though the nickname for its sports teams (and students in general) is “the Hoyas,” Georgetown adopted the English bulldog as its mascot in 1962. A group of students had lobbied for the move, arguing that Georgetown athletes were, like bulldogs, “tenacious.” A student committee purchased a two-year-old bulldog which they had hoped to name “Hoya.” However, the dog stubbornly refused (as bulldogs do) to respond to anything but his given name, “Jack.” The dog won, and students began to call him “Jack” – beginning a tradition that continues today.
Over time, the tradition of a permanent, on-campus mascot was replaced by a student in a bulldog suit. However, seniors in the class of 1999 began a “Bring Jack Back” campaign and succeeded in welcoming a new Jack to campus in March of 1999. Unfortunately, this Jack (now “the elder”) had to retire in 2003 when his caretaker, Hoya alum Scott Pilarz S.J., became president of the University of Scranton.
Jack Sr. was born on May 3, 2003. He arrived at Georgetown on July 19 of the same year. While not related to his immediate predecessor, Jack is from the same line as “Rocky,” GU’s mascot during Patrick Ewing’s time on the Hilltop. While Jack Sr.’s official mascot duties ended in 2012, he continued to live on campus, spending his days resting in the lobby of the Jesuit Residence and the evenings at his apartment in New South (which he shared with Rev. Christopher Steck, S.J., associate professor in the Department of Theology). Jack Sr. passed away on June 2, 2015.
In April of 2012, the Georgetown community welcomed Jack, Jr. (J.J.) to Georgetown as mascot-in-training. When the mascot lifestyle proved too hectic and exciting for J.J., he returned to a home environment and now lives happily with a loving family.
The next “Jack the Bulldog” arrived in October of 2013, a generous gift from champion bulldog breeder and Hoya parent, Janice Hochstetler. While on the Hilltop, Jack impressed students, parents and Hoyas fans alike with his impressive skateboarding skills. Jack lived in a University townhouse with his caretaker McKenzie Stough (C’13), who worked in Georgetown’s Office of Communications. Jack retired in summer 2019.
The current Jack arrived on the Hilltop in the fall of 2019. One of the most recognized figures on campus, Jack the Bulldog spends his time celebrating life on the Hilltop and cheering for Hoya sports. When not occupied with his mascot duties, Jack resides in Georgetown housing with his caretaker Cory Peterson, a full-time staff member in the Office of Government Relations and Community Engagement.
A version of this story by former archivist Jon Reynolds (C’65), who passed away in 2000, ran in a 1983 issue of Georgetown Magazine.
Even Wikipedia has a “Jack the Bulldog” listing. If you don’t believe us, you can find it here.
To learn more about the Mapping Georgetown project see https://georgetowner.com/articles/2021/07/19/marilyn-butlers-vision-for-mapping-georgetown/.
To submit your Georgetown recollections to Mapping Georgetown go to www.mappinggeorgetown.com or visit the Georgetown Public Library to pick up a physical map-story form to fill out.
Marilyn Butler can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.