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A history of greyhounds at Loyola

rival week


Loyola University Maryland


A history of greyhounds at Loyola

Iggy doesn't count


The University of North Carolina baseball team is accompanied at their games and practices by a two-year-old Golden Retriever named Remington.

At their football games, the Boise State Broncos have a Labrador retriever named Kohl ready after every kick-off to run out on to the field and bring the kicking tee back to the sideline.

Texas A&M, Butler, Yale, Georgetown, Carnegie Mellon, UC Davis and Tennessee are just some of the many colleges that have live dog mascots on their campuses.

With seemingly every self-respecting university in the country finding room in one way for another for cute little doggos at their schools, it seems appropriate to ask the question: where are our greyhounds???

Sure, we've got Iggy. . . but somehow that does little to compensate for our clear shortcoming in this department.

Perhaps our university's greatest moments came during the short period of time when service dogs were allowed on campus last year. No, they were not "our dogs," but we enjoyed sharing them, even when they pooped in Boulder and barked in the middle of class (or especially when they barked in the middle of class).

Or at least I assumed that these were our greatest moments. Until, after a dive into Loyola’s archives, I learned that once upon a time, we did have our very own greyhounds.

So what happened?

The story starts way back in 1927, when Loyola College students decided to vote on a mascot for the school’s football team—which is apparently a story for the next “Uncovered Week." In what was apparently a very close vote, the “greyhound” prevailed over the ferocious “grey squirrel” (I have never been so relieved to be a greyhound).

In 1933, our first live greyhounds, Kingo and Blue Rock, were gifted to the athletic department and attended all of the school’s basketball games. Unfortunately, the hype surrounding live mascots at Loyola was short-lived—literally.

So as it turns out, the dogs had a bit of a reputation for getting themselves into trouble around campus. One nearly died after chasing a rabbit under a fence, and within a year, one had been killed by a car, with the other passing away later on that same year.

So apparently, the Loyola community took the losses pretty hard. Like, they must have been traumatized. Because it was a longggg time after these experiences of love and loss in 1933 before live greyhounds were back at Loyola.

But sure enough, after mourning Kingo and Blue Rock for something like 70 years, Loyola found the strength to love again.

Sometime in the late 80’s/early 90’s, a Loyola student, recognizing the same mascot-deficiency mentioned earlier, came up with an idea.

Greyhounds are particularly famous as racing dogs, and thanks to efforts by animal rights activists, retired greyhounds are adopted at nearly a 90% rate. The student (I guess feeling that it was time for Loyola to move past their previous traumas) spoke with Father Nash, a former Jesuit here, and together they convinced the school to let Father Nash adopt a greyhound on their behalf.

All in all, four greyhounds lived on campus with Father Nash over the span of about 20 years—Nicholas, Nicholas II, Alexandra, and finally Nicholas III.

So why did they leave again? The Admissions Office said that there was an "unfortunate incident with a human", not confirming but basically alluding to that a greyhound bit someone.

After that, the tradition seemed to die out, and we haven’t had live mascots at Loyola since.

Whether it be the brief stint where service dogs were allowed in the dorms or academic buildings or the couple of days per semester during finals when stress-relieving puppies are brought to the library, I think everyone agrees that our school is at its best when we’ve got dogs on campus.

With that said, I think its about time that we bring the greyhounds back again. I know things are a bit crowded in the dorms, but don’t worry—I will happily sacrifice some space in my apartment for a new greyhound, all for the sake of tradition and school spirit, of course.

Bardelman, George L. “Greyhound Reporter Discovers Origin of Loyola's Nickname.” The Greyhound, 26 Apr. 1946.

Campbell, Emily. “Loyola's Live Mascot Spreads the Love-- and Licks.” The Baltimore Examiner, 22 Mar. 2008, p. 9.