INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Butler Blue I, Butler University’s first official live mascot, died on Friday morning. She was 13 years old.
The white English bulldog served as Butler’s mascot from 2000 to 2004.
“For over 13 years, Blue lived an extraordinary life. Her noble heart stopped today; instead of feeling empty, my heart is twice as full for loving her,” said Kelli Walker, Blue I’s owner.
Walker worked in Butler’s Office of Alumni and Parent Programs when she started exploring a live mascot program.
In the fall of 2000, Butler held a community-wide naming contest for the new mascot. “Hinkle,” “Hampton,” and “Buttercup” were among the name suggestions, but “Butler Blue” was the top choice.
Butler Blue I made her inaugural appearance on the court of Hinkle Fieldhouse, carried in the arms of the costumed bulldog mascot.
Blue I attended the men’s and women’s basketball games, along with other collegiate sporting events. Blue I also made regular visits to classrooms, residence halls, campus events, staff and faculty events, commencement, and even the annual Rejoice holiday concert. Blue I even appeared on stage in Chicago as “Rufus” in “Legally Blonde.”
Blue I will rest in peace along side her successor, Butler Blue II, in a new Bulldog Memorial currently being built on the university’s campus. The memorial will be dedicated at Butler’s Homecoming in September of this year.
Current mascot duties are being assumed by Butler Blue III, a red brindle English bulldog, who took over for Blue II in the spring of 2013.
For more information on Butler University’s live mascot program or to make a gift in Blue I’s memory, click here.