Adelaide, the live university mascot, will be leaving her post at the end of this academic semester.
Known to students on campus as “Addie,” the announcement came as a surprise considering the Bulldog was slated to serve as mascot for at least three more years.
University Communications fashioned the news as a graduation, stating in an email sent out on March 10 that Addie “met all qualifications to graduate,” including studies in “government, international relations, leadership, education, and human-animal studies.”
Addie’s retirement is shadowed by issues related to her health, as noted in a brief Q&A at the bottom of the university announcement. More specifically, the Bulldog has faced difficulties with her sensitivity to heat and is expected to continue “her post-graduate life in a climate-controlled, loving home that will resolve those issues,” as per the university notice.
Handled by Mary Littlejohn ‘03, Addie is the 7th official live mascot for the university and first female Bulldog to do so. Before her coronation in 2018, she apprenticed for Thurber, her predecessor, during the 2017-18 academic year. Thurber retired from the post after holding the position from 2010 to 2017. He passed away shortly after his graduation from two types of aggressive cancer.
Addie will not be the first mascot to serve less than a seven-year tenure: 3 out of 7 of the official Bulldogs served for 4 years or less, the most recent being Duke who held the position from 1998 to 2003. It is unclear what role health related issues played in their retirements.
Mary Littlejohn, who also works as Assistant Director of Alumni and Community Relations, built an online empire for the English Bulldog since creating her online profiles in 2018. Under the username @urmascot, Addie has amassed over 100,000 followers on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter combined. In 2020, numerous videos of Addie rolling around in the grass on the Farquhar Field went viral as she attracted more than a total of 10 million views.
The university expects to replace Addie after her departure. When, exactly, has yet to be announced. In the meantime, community members can expect to hear news about Addie’s successor and all things related to future mascots underneath existing profiles @urmascot.
Photo provided by Bulldog photographer Kyle Eaton.