I’d like to tee this up for FB Nation. So, looks like Reveille VII, the attractive lass you see pictured here, is retiring. Texas A&M needs a new mascot. So of course it formed a 16-member search committee. Jump for the full memo that describes what it is they’re looking for in Reveille VIII (spoiler alert: “healthy,” “outgoing,” “not afraid of noise”):
1 May 2008
TO: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Texas A&M Students, Faculty & Staff
FROM: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Dr. Dean L. Bresciani, Vice President for Student Affairs
SUBJECT: Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Update Regarding Selection Process for New Aggie Mascot
Reveille VII, the current keeper of Texas A&M’s decades old mascot tradition, will formally retire later this month at the conclusion of the spring semester. As many of you know, shortly after her retirement plans were announced, a 16-person study committee was formed with the support of President Elsa A. Murano to make recommendations on the type of dog that might best serve as the university’s new mascot. Those invited to participate in the committee included students, faculty, staff, former students and representatives of the Corps of Cadets, Athletics and the Federation of Texas A&M Mothers’ Clubs. The committee also included a Texas A&M veterinarian who is a nationally known animal behavior expert.
The group’s first and foremost charge: ensure that we responsibly continue the long-standing tradition of having an official mascot that is an integral part of the Aggie Family – attending classes and living in a home-like environment on campus where the mascot will be loved and nurtured. The committee recently completed its work, and after further consultation with President Murano and a broad spectrum of senior campus leaders and advisors, I am pleased to share with you our plans on how we will proceed:
First, regardless of the type of dog selected to serve as the University mascot, she should possess the following characteristics:
1. Â Â Â Â Medium to large size – This body type is more consistent with the symbolism of a University mascot and is more suitable to her ability to perform the duties associated with the role.
2. Â Â Â Â Healthy – Even at a reduced level of activity, the demands of the position require that the mascot be in good physical condition. Furthermore, any genetically related health concerns should be properly prescreened by a veterinarian.
3. Â Â Â Â Outgoing personality (upbeat) – One of the endearing qualities of a mascot is its approachability and positive demeanor.
4. Â Â Â Â Likes people and is at ease in crowds – It is important that the University mascot portrays a genuine affection for people of varying ages in one-on-one and large group settings.
5. Â Â Â Â Not afraid of noise – Loud and frequent sounds are associated with a number of the University’s traditions; therefore, it is critical that the mascot be at ease in these environments.
6. Â Â Â Â Not highly reactive – Given the nature and frequency of interaction with the mascot, it is important that she not respond in a defensive or aggressive manner when faced with quick movements or sudden motion.
7. Â Â Â Â Positively motivated – The mascot should respond to instruction based on affirmation and encouragement.
Second, in order to prescreen for essential characteristics, establish an appropriate level of training, and maintain the important symbolism of a University mascot, Reveille should be either:
(1) Â Â Â A mature (approximately 1Â½ years of age or older) female with a Collie-like appearance (not unlike Reveille II), service dog training and the essential characteristics noted above.
(2) Â Â Â A mature female (approximately 1Â½ years of age or older) with service dog training, essential characteristics noted above, and the physical attributes and noble appearance consistent with the role of the University mascot (not unlike a Golden Retriever).
We are not inclined to consider a puppy at this point due to the following factors: Â 1) the length of time it takes to properly train and transition a puppy into this role – approximately 18 months; 2) the inherent uncertainties of the personality of a puppy; and 3) past experiences with this approach not achieving desired results.
Training and Oversight
Third, we recognize that steps have been taken to better manage the environment in which Reveille functions; however, given ongoing concerns for her health and behavior, other changes may be needed. Â Therefore, we will ask that additional professional training protocols and oversight be established, implemented and periodically evaluated, including a transition period to help Reveille successfully acclimate to and carry out her role as the mascot of Texas A&M University. The Vice President for Student Affairs will have responsibility for assuring that these protocols are developed and monitored.
As we move forward in our effort to select a new mascot, we will immediately begin an extensive nationwide effort to identify and evaluate potential canine mascots, using the guidelines detailed above and with assistance from Texas A&M veterinarians. I anticipate that we will identify the best suitable mascot and put forward a recommendation by the end of the summer. Therefore, I am hopeful that we will introduce the new mascot to the Aggie Family this fall.
President Murano and I would like to commend the members of the committee for a job well-done and thank them for their tireless efforts while serving in this important capacity.
We look forward to introducing Reveille VIII to the Aggie Family!