Light & Verity

Dog wants out

Handsome Dan XVIII takes early retirement.



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2016 brought a new incumbent into office, a public servant like no one had seen before. He shook things up with his distinctive appearance and strong social media presence. Now he’s stepping down. And pretty much everyone’s going to miss him.

We mean Handsome Dan XVIII, of course. The athletics department confirmed a November Yale Daily News report that Yale’s mascot, known to intimates as Walter, plans to retire after four years in the job. The move coincides with the departure of assistant athletic director Kevin Discepolo ’09 from Yale for a new post. Discepolo has been Walter’s human companion and keeper since the dog arrived at Yale as a seven-week-old puppy.

Walter, member of a breed called the Olde English Bulldogge, is a healthier, more athletic mascot than Yale’s recent bulldogs, and he looks much more like the original Handsome Dan (1889–98). Associate athletic director Mike Gambardella says the university will introduce Dan’s successor and celebrate Walter’s tenure early this spring.

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