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March 24: Bill Cosby Gives Carnegie Mellon Its First Live Mascot


Abby Houck                       

Comedian Bill Cosby Gives
Carnegie Mellon Its First Live Mascot

PITTSBURGH—Canine enthusiast Bill Cosby has given Carnegie Mellon University its first live mascot — a Scottish terrier.
Cosby was inspired to present Carnegie Mellon with a live mascot after delivering the university's commencement address last year.  The comedian strolled into the commencement venue walking Murray, a Scottish terrier owned by Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Larry Cartwright. 
Bill Cosby and Murray Mascot Identity Task Force co-chairs Susan Bassett, director of athletics, and Jennifer Church, dean of student affairs, said an official mascot was identified to boost school spirit. Cosby agrees.  He's an advocate for education, but he also encourages students to take time away from studying to build friendships and have fun. "The dog raises one's self-esteem," he said.
The Scottish terrier Cosby chose comes from a Canadian breeder based in Calgary. Beginning this summer, Cartwright will serve as the mascot's owner and "manager." He will continue to train the puppy until its first on-campus appearance this fall. In the meantime, a student committee will develop guidelines for mascot appearances.   
Best known for his popular television show, Cosby is also recognized among breeders and animal lovers for co-owning a "top dog." Harry, Cosby's Dandie Dinmont, won first place in the 2007 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show's highly competitive Terrier Group.
Although Carnegie Mellon's live mascot will not debut until the beginning of the next academic year, the new mascot costume will be unveiled at the university's Spring Carnival opening ceremony at 3 p.m., Thursday, April 17, when results of a campus and alumni survey designed to give the live mascot and costumed performer the same official name will be announced. Following the ceremony, the costumed mascot will make appearances April 17-19 at the Spring Carnival KidZone, Midway and Buggy competition, best known for its student-created, aerodynamic missile-like racing vehicles.
The Scottish terrier has long been a Carnegie Mellon icon, tracing back to founder Andrew Carnegie's own pet. However, it was not named the school's official mascot until the spring of 2007. Carnegie Mellon's Mascot Identity Task Force engaged students, faculty, staff and alumni in town hall meetings, surveys and focus groups to choose a mascot and develop its graphic identity.  The Scottish terrier was selected for its alert, intelligent expression and physical attributes that exemplify strength, power and agility in a small frame.
More information on Carnegie Mellon's mascot, including graphics and photos, is available at


(Above, Bill Cosby strolls into last year's commencement with Murray.) 

Update: April 26, 2018—University Statement: Revoking Bill Cosby's Honorary Degree