News & Politics

Georgetown University Has an Adorable New Bulldog Mascot

Everything you need to know about Jack the Bulldog

The roly-poly new Jack the Bulldog begins his school spirit duties after a cross-country trip in January. Photograph courtesy of Georgetown University.

Try to imagine a “Hoya” and not much comes to mind. But there’s one symbol of Georgetown University who’s very real and very huggable: Jack the Bulldog. 

Now a brand new Jack is coming to the campus: a four-month-old bulldog puppy who will fill the void left behind by the last Jack, who died unexpectedly last summer. 

Georgetown said today that its new mascot, an adorably pudgy and compact puppy who enjoys cantaloupe and sunbathing, will arrive in DC from California the first week of January.

Before Jack joins the Hoyas on the field and the court, he has to train. Janice and Marcus Hochstetler, dog handlers and Georgetown parents, have donated and trained the last several Jacks. The Hochstetlers, who are based in California, are also training the new Jack for his cross-country journey and university mascot job. Jack’s trainers say he’s already showing a talent for skateboarding, something other Jacks have done before him at games. 

The university has had bulldog mascots off and on for more than 60 years, and this Jack will be the eighth. In 1962, Georgetown got its first English bulldog, reviving an early campus tradition of canine mascots. They planned to name him “Hoya,” but the pooch apparently responded only to “Jack,” and the name long outlasted him. 

One beloved Jack in the early 2000s had his own Facebook profile and student ID card, and was listed as part of the theology faculty because he lived with theology professor Christopher Steck in a Jesuit residence hall. Like many athletes, he tore his ACL and retired from sporting duties in 2013.

Lately, there’s been a lot of sad bulldog news on campus. In 2013, a new Jack bit a child, losing him his mascot gig. The most recent Jack arrived in 2019, but passed away after a quick, unspecified illness four years later. An editorial in the Georgetown Voice called for Jack to be replaced by a rescue dog for ethical reasons. 

The university says the new Jack’s health will be a higher priority than his official mascot duties—he’ll be given nutritious meals and regular exercise during his cross-country trip.

Jack will be looked after by the Jack Crew, a team of students with the coveted role of walking the dog three times a day and transporting him to his mascot appearances on and off campus. The Jack Crew is highly selective: to qualify, students have to submit a written and video application, do a test dog walk, and interview with Cory Peterson, Jack’s official caretaker. 

The Jack Crew’s first order of business in January? Taking Jack out on his first campus walk to get him acquainted with the sights and smells of Georgetown. 

Ike Allen
Assistant Editor