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A Bulldog for life: Addie graduates as mascot emerita

addie_680x450.jpgWith a stretch and a slobber, Adelaide Victoria of Redlands, mascot emerita of the University of Redlands, starts her first week of retirement demanding to be treated like the queen she believes she is. She takes a long roll in the grass before dipping her paws in the pool and pondering her future. After spending more than four years as the University’s first female mascot, Addie finds herself quite deserving of a vacation. She’ll entertain the idea of having a snack and a nap, then she may or may not do something else—because she is Addie, and that’s how she rolls.

Until last week, Addie has reigned as the seventh live mascot of the University, keeping the Bulldog tradition alive while simultaneously breaking it when she made national news as the first female to fill the role. On April 23, Addie graduated alongside the Class of 2022 students with whom she shared her Redlands journey, and received the new title of mascot emerita from Dr. Steve Wuhs, interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Addie, you have accomplished great things during your four years at Redlands. You began as a first-year intern with mascot emeritus Thurber and quickly moved to become our first official female mascot. You worked to become an accomplished scholar-athlete, earning high marks in rolling and stair-jumping, and mastering philosophy, leadership, and marketing. You represented rescue animal adoptions, hosting many events to find homes for animals in need. In fact, as most Bulldogs do, you completed and exceeded your requirement for community service hours by attending events for ASUR, athletics, and alumni. Through representation of Redlands, as our mascot, you have elevated the reputation of this University and served all U of R Bulldogs as a very good dog.”

Wuhs went on to thank Addie’s handler (sometimes referred to as her “Ma”), Mary Littlejohn ’03, ’12 who is assistant director of Alumni and Community Relations at U of R, and then asked President Krista Newkirk to officially confer upon Addie the title of Mascot Emerita. “This is the most important thing I have to do today,” Newkirk said with a smile.

A Bulldog (literally and figuratively) from the start

addiethurber.jpgFrom the moment Addie set her paws on the Redlands campus, her puppy prowess and canine cuteness captured the hearts of her new Bulldog community. By breed, Addie is literally a Bulldog (English), but by her own desire, she became a symbol of the Bulldog community and the University itself. She embodied the mission of Redlands to educate hearts and minds—leading with her heart and being of very determined mind.

In the summer of 2017, a rambunctious, roly-poly Addie was introduced as mascot-in-training. She interned with beloved former mascot emeritus Thurber and prepared to follow in his pawprints as the next live mascot. When Thurber passed away soon after his graduation, Addie’s first order of business was to help heal broken hearts across campus.

 

Finally, on Jan. 20, 2018, Addie donned a cape and a crown, admired herself in the mirror for what seemed to be hours, pranced around the Alumni House so others could admire her, then appeared at a ceremony to be unofficially named Queen and officially be named Mascot of the University of Redlands—a role she knew she was born to fill.

A Bulldog of Bulldogs

Elegant, charming, talented, intelligent, athletic—these are just some of the words Addie might use to describe herself. Under all her bravado, however, Addie has a servant’s heart. Deeply grateful for her own security, Addie’s dream is for all dogs and cats to find a safe and happy home. The rescue of shelter animals became her life's passion.

Yet, it wasn’t just all work and no play for this Bulldog. Addie loved supporting Bulldog Athletics and entertaining the crowds with her now-infamous Addie rolls that took her viral on social media. She never missed an opportunity to welcome new students, greet current students, alumni, and visitors on campus, participate in events for clubs and organizations, and delight all with her parade of Halloween costumes and festive Yule Log video during the holiday season.

So, this is love

Featured in social media by The Dodo and We Rate Dogs, Addie’s antics won hearts across the nation. One heart, in particular. Social media introduced Addie to the love of her life, Trip, also known as Butler Blue, the mascot for Butler University. Couple name: “Triddie.” Trip and Addie have shared a unique virtual relationship that their fans loved following. Trip was especially talented in writing poetry for Addie on Valentine’s Day, and the couple had a virtual “Dawg Date” on Instagram. Though the pandemic kept these two apart in real life, they remain close, virtually. Trip is now also retired, and was featured in the Netflix special, “Dogs.”

Future plans

tedrunner_680x450.jpgAddie’s short-term plans include master’s research—paws in the pool, refining her roll, and finessing her fetch. Her downtime soundtrack for life is Lizzo, and she plans to binge on National Geographic documentaries with any animal so she can pretend to be one with nature.

Addie leaves a legacy of joy, courage, compassion, humor, and service. She also leaves some big paw prints to fill. Her advice for future mascots: “This job is an honor and a privilege. Represent the ‘Ol Maroon and Grey with pride and a smile. Give our students lots of love and support because they are the best!”