Carnegie Mellon University
April 10, 2019

Step Right Up for Douse-A-Dean 2019

By Laura Kelly

Julie Mattera
  • Marketing and Communications
  • 412-268-2902

Provost Jim Garrett, former dean of the College of Engineering, may have to give up his Douse-a-Dean trophy this year, but he he'll never give up the title as being the final dean to be dunked during Carnegie Mellon University's annual tradition that supports Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.

No one told Provost Jim Garrett that becoming provost meant giving up his Dunk-A-Dean Champion title...or does it?

Deans from CMU's Pittsburgh campus and the provost will be getting soaked starting at noon on Friday, April 12 on the cut. In years past, deans in their dunk tank best would take the plunge into a pool of water, but this year, campus decided to go easy on them. Instead, deans will sit under a bucket that will spill its contents onto dean's heads every time someone hits the target.

"I do intend to sit under the bucket, too.  I like to lead by example.  However, I'm not eligible to win the Douse-A-Dean trophy this year, but that's okay. It's nice to give everyone else a chance to win," said Garrett with a wry smile.

Will books be enough to prepare for Douse-A-Dean 2019? Keith Webster, dean of University Libraries, sure hopes so!

This week deans have been running wind sprints across The Cut, timing how long they can hold their breath, or taking notes on the traits of aquatic life to get insider tips.

Friendly taunting and trash talk swirls between schools and colleges as campus prepares to take a shot at the deans, but it's all for a good cause. The proceeds raised from the event support the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, who hold their Spring Games on CMU's campus each year.

The competition is fierce for the 2019 Douse-A-Dean Competition to support the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. Jon Cagan, dean of the College of Engineering, isn't worried.

"In all seriousness, it's our pleasure to join the Carnegie Mellon Police Department in raising donation funds for the Special Olympics," Garrett said. "We have a great time each year, and always look forward to support such a wonderful organization and its participants. I encourage everyone to come to the event on Friday in front of Doherty starting at noon to douse their dean or their provost."

With aquatic labs right in her college, does Rebecca Doerge, dean of the Mellon College of Science, have an edge over the competition for Douse-A-Dean?

"When it was just the cops doing the Dunk-A-Cop event, we literally struggled for every dollar and were lucky to raise $1,500 in three days," said Lt. Joe Meyers of the Carnegie Mellon University Police Department. "With the dean's ability to raise funds within their own schools and programs and the good-natured competition that's developed between the deans to see who can raise the most money, the fund raising has gone through the roof.  Last year, the deans, by themselves, raised over $15,000 for Special Olympics."

Dean Tom Mitchell, dean of the School of Computer Science, doesn't seem worried about his fellow deans at Douse-A-Dean 2019.

"As community leaders and ambassadors of goodwill, the University's support of the Special Olympics and the athletes reaffirms that we are committed to inclusion, respect, and dignity," said Detective Joe Bernarding of the CMU Police.

Make plans to support the competition while at Spring Carnival on Friday, April 12, and follow all of the Carnival fun on social at #CMUCarnival.

It's a clash of the Titans — er, Tartans?

— #CMUcarnival —

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