The Admissions Office just hired its youngest new ambassador. At only nine weeks old, Shelli Garland’s bulldog Mugzy has been creating a buzz among students since his arrival on campus just over a week ago; a buzz that usually sounds something like “Awww…”
Garland, Coordinator of Enrollment Services at Ferris, works with Mugzy in the Timme Center. In an effort to garner excitement from prospective Ferris students, Mugzy made one of his first public appearances last week at Saturday’s Dawg Day.
“I’ve always wanted a bulldog,” said Garland. “But thinking about the possibility of this working to help increase enrollment and improve our visit experience, we thought that would be a fun idea.”
While potential new Ferris Bulldogs enjoyed food, toured campus and met with professors and advisers, Mugzy greeted families in the University Center, chasing a ball and snacking on apples.
Chelsea Broekema, a music industry management and hospitality senior, recently met Mugzy in the Timme Center.
“He made my day so much better and all he did was sit there,” said Broekema. “Having a live mascot seems like it really brings the school together. I have overheard so many people talking about Mugzy recently and those who didn’t already know about him wanted to know where to go to find him.”
“We have a lot of daily visitors, including these Dawg Days Saturday visits,” said Garland. “For a lot of these visitors, a culture seems to have happened where a lot of on campus students give the guests a hard time and call them ‘yellow baggers.’”
Garland said she hopes that Mugzy can help facilitate more camaraderie between current and prospective students. She’s hoping to have him certified as a therapy dog.
Mugzy’s breeders are both Ferris alumni. Garland herself graduated from Ferris with a bachelor’s degree in integrative studies and is currently pursuing a masters in career and technical education, postsecondary administration.
As our current mascot Brutus’ “cousin,” faculty at the Admissions Office hope to make Mugzy a big part of the Ferris community.
“Everyone gets so excited about the bulldog mascot and everyone loves Brutus,” said Kristen Salomonson, Dean of Enrollment Services. “We’re exploring the possibilities of integrating him into the community in a way that makes sense for everybody.
Salomonson and Garland said they’d like to see Mugzy become a big part of Dawg Days and is open to him making appearances at other events.
According to Jeanine Ward-Roof, Vice President of Student Affairs, enrollment at Ferris is steady. Dawg Days is an integral part of the recruiting process. Ward-Roof thinks Mugzy can fit nicely into that guest experience.
Ward-Roof said, “We want to people to get excited and feel connected to the institution and this is a cute way to do it.”