Rhett, Boston University’s mascot, can now add number one school mascot to his repertoire. The Boston A-List, a city-ranking site presented by WGBH, named Rhett the “Best 2012 School Mascot.”
He beat out both Paws the Husky, Northeastern’s mascot, who placed third, and Baldwin the Eagle, Boston College’s mascot, who placed fourth.
The rankings are based on the total number of votes each nominee receives, which voters can cast on WGBH’s website. The Boston A-List had over 293 winners this year, with rankings in other categories ranging from best college bar to best college radio station and best yoga studio in Boston.
Rhett’s first place prize in the Boston A-List’s competition is not his only accolade. In 2002, he placed fourth in the National Mascot Championships, and was named an All-American mascot in 1996.
Rhett, a Boston terrier, became BU’s official mascot on November 15, 1922, after already having been selected as the football team’s mascot in 1917. He was named after Rhett Butler from the classic novel, Gone With the Wind, because, according to Rhett’s profile on BU’s athletics website, “nobody loves Scarlet more than Rhett.”
Rhett, whose 90th birthday is this November, has visibly changed only slightly since his younger days. In 2006, when BU athletics was rebranding its image, the mascot underwent a makeover in which his ears shrunk and his fur became completely black.
Although the modern Rhett now maintains a figure of 6’3″ and 200 pounds, his favorite foods include “corn dogs, hot dogs, chili dogs and BC eagles,” according to his profile. Baldwin the Eagle, the Boston College‘s mascot, is one of Rhett’s biggest rivals.
Rhett is probably best known for his appearance during hockey games. He greets fans, cheers with the Terriers in the Dog Pound and performs on skates during the intermissions.
According to a Daily Free Press interview with Rhett last September, Rhett’s itinerary also includes participating in summer orientations and attending away games. He has even helped a man propose to his girlfriend, he said.
Students who are “athletic, enthusiastic, outgoing, creative and like to interact with people” can apply to be Rhett, according to the website of BU’s Mascot Program. The program fills four mascot spots each year, with two alternative spots.
While the ability to ice skate isn’t a prerequisite for students to be selected as Rhett, it is necessary to work the hockey games, during which the canine mascot is of course in high demand.