Bully, one of the longest-serving Southeastern Conference mascots, inaugurates a new representative Saturday [Sept. 4].
"Dontae" is assuming the duties of the English bulldog mascot that has been synonymous with Mississippi State University athletics for much of this century.
Formally known as Bully XVIII, the 3-year-old American Kennel Club-registered animal will be introduced during Scott Field ceremonies preceding the 6 p.m. MSU-Middle Tennessee State University football game. Joining him on the field will be donor Greg Daly of Atlanta, a 1987 MSU business graduate formerly of Brandon.
"Mississippi State's mascot has had a long history, and we're proud to welcome Dontae as Bully XVIII," said athletic director Larry Templeton. "The university is grateful to Greg Daly for his gift of a championship animal to continue the tradition."
During the early days of their nearly nine decades on campus, bulldog mascots lived paw-to-mouth in residence halls, fraternity houses and even a converted oak barrel. They wandered into classes and begged table scraps in the cafeteria.
One of the most famous mascots met an untimely death in 1939 at the wheels of a bus. His burial on Scott Field's 50-yard line was given national coverage in Life magazine.
More recently, Bully's care has been entrusted to professionals in MSU's College of Veterinary Medicine and students in the Pre-Veterinary Medical Club. Since the mid-1970s, the state's only vet college has provided healthy meals and the best in medical care, even after the animals retire.
To provide a family environment, Bully lives with a faculty or staff member. In addition to providing companionship, the guardians assure Bully's availability for athletic and public appearances.