Handsome Dan – Yale’s Bulldog Mascot

Yale was the first college in the United States to adopt a mascot. Yale has used an actual bulldog as their mascot since 1889 and numbers them using Roman numerals. The current Yale Bulldog is Handsome Dan XVI.

Handsome Dan has often been pictured on covers of Yale Football programs, such as this depiction of Handsome Dan II on this 1937 program against Penn.


A war time program shows Handsome Dan V looking mean and ready for action on this program vs. Cornell.


Real life Handsome Dan X is pictured on this 1959 program against Dartmouth looking at the first Handsome Dan I, clearly past his prime.

handsome dan

The 1956 Harvard Yale game featured Handsome Dan once again:


Yale’s competitors haven’t always treated Handsome Dan with as much respect. As an example, after the 1937 Harvard-Yale victory of 13-6, the following cover shows the poor little mutt whimpering on top of a serving plate.

Or, this less than flattering  Harvard program from the 1960 matchup… 
The Yale Athletic Website has a complete history of this unique mascot.

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