Beloved mascot Jack the Bulldog passes after four years at Georgetown

September 7, 2023

Photo provided by Georgetown University

This semester, Georgetown students, faculty, and staff,  returned to a campus without a Jack. Georgetown’s canine mascot IROC Casagrande John F. Carroll, better known as Jack the Bulldog, suddenly passed away at age four in July. He died after experiencing a brief illness, according to July 10 posts on the mascot’s university-run Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.

“With a heavy heart, we share the sad news that our beloved Jack the Bulldog has gone over the Rainbow Bridge,” the accounts wrote.

“Thank you for all the love, for all the smiles, for always stopping to hang out with me, for taking pictures with me every single time I asked. for all the happiness and comfort of that you brought to me on campus. You were one of a kind and I’ll always hold you in my heart,” one user commented on Instagram. The post garnered almost 13,000 likes, and almost 400 comments that shared memories of Jack, or expressed condolences.

Georgetown declined to comment about the exact cause of death.

Jack was cared for by the official university caretaker, Cory Peterson, with the aid of the Jack Crew, a competitive student-run organization responsible for walking Jack around campus daily and escorting him to various events. To join, members underwent an intensive application process including written, video, and in-person components.

“Jack brought joy and a moment of happiness to everyone he met. No matter who they were, Jack loved everyone unconditionally and with his whole heart,” Peterson wrote in an email to the Voice. “The stories, the pictures, and the love for Jack are deep and embedded into Georgetown’s history and culture dating back to the first dog associated as Georgetown’s mascot.”

The English bulldog is the university’s eighth Jack. He was born to Canadian breeders on Jan 24, 2019, and arrived at Georgetown University six months later.

Georgetown’s first canine mascot was a bull terrier named Stubby brought back from France after serving in World War I. The first bulldog, named Lil-Nan’s Royal Jacket, served as  mascot in 1962 and would only respond to the name “Jack,” beginning the naming tradition in place today.

Sara Amar (CAS ’23) also emphasized Jack’s impact on campus life. “He functions as a physical signifier for Georgetown, even people who don’t really like dogs get excited about Jack. He brightens the days of students on campus, and it always makes me smile to see him at the basketball games,” she wrote to the Voice

“I used to see him in the window of his little office on 36th and N all the time,” she added.

One of Peterson’s favorite memories with the late bulldog was Jack’s recent trip in March to the Big East Tournament in New York City. 

“Jack met up with his friend, Blue, from Butler University, and became fast friends with Jonathan from the University of Connecticut. Jack visited famous New York landmarks, hung out on the court of Madison Square Garden and rode to the top of the Empire State Building with the other mascots in the Big East,” Peterson wrote. “Jack loved the excitement of meeting so many people and cheering on his beloved Hoyas.”

Amar’s feelings for Jack as a mascot, however, are shadowed by her concerns of the ethicality of bulldog breeding, which she said often results in health complications and shorter lifespans, “I hope Georgetown uses this as a lesson to invest in ethical bulldog breeding, as there are breeders who are attempting to reverse the negative effects of all the harmful inbreeding,” she said.

Jack’s passing does not appear to be the end of the long tradition of dog mascots, according to the conclusion of the university’s social media  statement. “We will share plans for the future in the weeks ahead and invite you to share your favorite photos and memories of Jack.”


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