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Baylor Mascot Celebrating 100th Anniversary
BaylorProud » Celebrating 100 years of on-campus Baylor bears, The fall of 1917 saw the arrival of the first live mascot to campus.
In April 1917, the United States joined its allies to fight in World War I, and the atmosphere on the Baylor campus was drastically changing. Many male students were enlisting for military service, and military camps had opened across the country, including Camp MacArthur in Waco. The soldiers used Baylor’s Carroll Field to practice drills, slept in Baylor dorm halls, ate in the Baylor cafeteria, and were generally welcomed by Baylor students, who hosted entertainment and social activities for the visitors.
This Baylor-MacArthur hospitality hit a new height during the Baylor-A&M football game on November 10 at the Cotton Palace Grounds. Not to be outperformed by A&M’s famous band and cadets, the Baylor band was joined by a 45-piece brass band from Camp MacArthur. Then at halftime, students came onto the field to do what they called the “Bear Trail”: snaking around the field, following one after another. And leading the Bear Trail? A truck covered with Baylor and bear decorations, with a chair on the bed of the truck — in which a real, live bear was sitting.
Ted (AKA “Bruin,” as he was often called) was owned by one of the Camp MacArthur soldiers, and was promptly adopted as the unofficial Baylor mascot for the day. But over the next few weeks, students couldn’t get past the idea of having a real bear on campus. So two months later, when the bear’s owner and his battalion received orders for overseas duty, the soldiers gave their bear to the university, making Ted the university’s first live mascot.
Since Ted’s arrival, more than 50 North American black bears have called Baylor home. And since 1974, their official name has begun with “Judge,” in honor of Baylor’s bear from 1961-71, who was named for the university’s then-new president, Abner McCall. Today, Baylor has its two beloved sister bears, Judge Joy Reynolds (“Joy”) and Judge Sue Sloan (“Lady”), who came to Baylor as cubs in 2001 and 2002.