Nice to Meet You: Jerry II Makes His Debut at ATU

Jerry Charles Young II Introduction Ceremony 9-10-2022
Jerry Charles Young II, the next campus ambassador at Arkansas Tech University, was introduced during a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Jerry Charles Young II, the next campus ambassador at Arkansas Tech University, was introduced during a ceremony outside Crabaugh Hall on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Jerry II is an English bulldog. He was born in Frankfort, Kan., on May 29, 2022, and came home to Arkansas on Aug. 6, 2022. Since arriving in Russellville, he has served an apprenticeship under Jerry Charles Young I that will continue until Saturday, Oct. 1, at which time Jerry II will become ATU campus ambassador and Jerry I will retire.

Members of the university community and beyond will have the opportunity to track Jerry II’s preparations to take office by following him on the official @arkansastechjerry Instagram and Facebook accounts for the ATU campus ambassador program.

The story of Jerry the Bulldog at ATU dates back to the 1930s. The original Jerry was owned by the Young family, which has been continuously involved with the university for more than 100 years. Dr. Robert A. Young Jr. of Russellville, the third generation of his family to hold a close association with Arkansas Tech, was among those who spoke at Jerry II’s introduction.

“When the idea of restoring the tradition of Jerry the Bulldog at Arkansas Tech was presented to me a decade ago, it was my honor and privilege to give our family’s blessing,” said Young. “We love the Wonder Boys. We love the Golden Suns. The return of Jerry has enhanced our traditions and provided Arkansas Tech students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends with a tangible outlet to express their affection for this university. Every time you pet Jerry or take a photo with Jerry, you are demonstrating that Arkansas Tech is special to you and has meaning in your life.

“I am grateful for the service of Jerry Charles Young I,” continued Young. “I am excited for you to meet Jerry Charles Young II and for him to take office as our campus ambassador on October 1. Thank you for helping us carry forward this Arkansas Tech tradition. I hope Jerry the Bulldog continues to bring joy to our university for generations to come.”

ATU alumnus Dr. Heath Stump and Dr. Jennifer Heim of Russellville Animal Clinic provide veterinary care for the campus ambassador program.

Creature Comforts, owned by Betsy and Noel Snyder, provides for campus ambassador boarding needs. Betsy is the great-granddaughter of William O. Young, who owned the original Jerry during the 1930s.

Heather and Sam Strasner and their son, Seth, are day-to-day caretakers for Jerry Charles Young I and Jerry Charles Young II.

“Over the past nine years, Jerry Charles Young I has cheered the Wonder Boys and the Golden Suns in their athletic pursuits,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, ATU president, while serving as master of ceremonies on Saturday. “He has greeted countless prospective students on their campus tour days. He has attended a variety of additional campus events on an annual basis. Perhaps most importantly, Jerry has provided the students, alumni and friends of Arkansas Tech with a living representation of the fight on spirit of persistence and determination that has made this university great.

“Now, after hundreds of appearances and thousands of photos, Jerry is about to earn the spoils of retirement,” continued Bowen. “He will step down as campus ambassador as of Saturday, Oct. 1, and live out his golden years on his favorite spot on the couch at home, no doubt napping and dreaming of the good times we all enjoyed together. Jerry…thank you. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for loving Arkansas Tech. It took a very good boy to bring back something that had been lost for so long. You are and will always be that very good boy. We will savor these final three weeks with you as our campus ambassador.”