Members of the Arkansas Tech University community and their families as well as alumni and friends are invited to attend a come-and-go birthday reception for Jerry the Bulldog, campus ambassador, on Wednesday, July 17.
The reception will take place from 3-4 p.m. in the W.O. Young Building Ballroom, 207 West O Street in Russellville. Guests are asked to make their presence be their present to Jerry, who is turning six years old. Refreshments will be served.
The Arkansas Tech Student Government Association restored a tradition that had been lost for 76 years on Oct. 23, 2013, when it cast a unanimous vote to install Jerry as campus ambassador.
The first modern Jerry, whose full name is Jerry Charles Young I, was born on July 17, 2013. He is an English bulldog. He was introduced during a Homecoming Saturday ceremony on Oct. 26, 2013, which was the 103rd anniversary of the first day of classes at Arkansas Tech.
The original Jerry was a daily part of life at Arkansas Tech in the mid-1930s.
He was owned by William O. Young, who oversaw the business affairs of Arkansas Tech as secretary and bursar from 1917-42 and acted as interim president of the college from 1923-25; and his son, Robert A. Young Sr., who grew up to serve as purchasing agent, business manager, vice president for business affairs and vice president for administration and finance at Arkansas Tech from 1941-84 as well as interim president in 1972. Dr. Robert A. Young Jr. has continued his family’s Tech tradition by serving as president of the Arkansas Tech Foundation and as a loyal supporter of Tech athletics.
The original Jerry spent much of his time on campus at the armory (later known as the Stroupe Building) with National Guard Battery F. The students and guardsmen there adopted Jerry as one of their own.
An article from the Feb. 26, 1936, issue of the Arka Tech student newspaper stated that Jerry was “always present at anything of importance at the armory,” which was a social center of campus at that time and the site of Arkansas Tech home basketball games.
When the original Jerry passed away in late 1937, the headline in the Arka Tech proclaimed “Campus Loses Mascot in Passing of Jerry.”
Today, Jerry attends a variety of campus events and alumni gatherings as well as Wonder Boys and Golden Suns athletic competitions. In keeping with the original Jerry’s connection to the armed services, Jerry is escorted to many of his official functions by students from the Arkansas Tech U.S. Army ROTC program.
Visit www.atu.edu/jerry to learn more about Jerry the Bulldog.