Yale Open House begins with a bow-wow-wow


Yale kicked off its open house on Oct. 12 with a tail-wagging, canine-inclusive ceremony on Cross Campus that underscored the day’s theme: “Explore, Connect, Engage.”

The congregation of canines, like the open house itself, brought together individuals from both the campus and community — with at least one dog owner (an alumnus) coming from as far away as New York to attend the festivities. The day’s events included tours, performances, and receptions bringing visitors inside campus spaces not normally open to the public, as well as spaces that are always open and accessible to all.

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Yale’s “top dogs” — Handsome Dan (a.k.a. Sherman) and Portia (a.k.a. the “first dog”), the Havenese owned by President Peter Salovey and his wife, Marta Elisa Moret — were among the four-legged participants who were cooed over, petted, and photographed by the two-legged attendees. Also on hand was the bipedal Handsome Dan mascot who, while rarely petted, also garnered his share of attention.

Other members of the doggie conclave included:

• Remi, a Golden Retriever therapy dog at Yale-New Haven Hospital, who arrived at Cross Campus in a motorcycle sidecar, wearing goggles.

• Wilson, a “Westie” owned by Scott Strobel, vice president for West Campus planning and programs. Wilson sported a blue “West is best” hoodie.

• Chester, a Norfolk Terrier recently named a “special assistant” to Linda Lorimer, vice president of global and strategic initiatives.

• Eli, the Yale Police mascot, a Black Labrador whose special skills include bomb-sniffing, and Whitney, who is being trained as Eli’s successor.

• Chuck Norris, a half-Maltese/half-Yorkie, representing Yale’s Air Force ROTC unit and sporting a miniature “Bite Army” t-shirt.

• Maggie, a familiar face to passers-by on Wall St., where she spends many a day in the yard of her human, University Chaplain Sharon Kugler.

• Representatives of assorted other breeds, including French Poodle, Mastiff, Corgie, Shih Tzu, Collie, English Spaniel, and the ever-popular Mixed. The heavy-jowled and muscular Auggie and Boo-Boo joined Handsome Dan in representing the Bulldog breed.

Yale’s soon-to-be-inaugurated 23rd president mingled among the crowd, greeting canine and human visitors, and occasionally stopping to pose with a particular pooch.

Speaking later to the crowd, Salovey said that the partnership between Yale and New Haven has fostered many “communities within communities” and that he and his wife have come to know many individuals from the campus and the city through their membership in one of those sub-communities: local dog-walkers.

The President joked that having a dog-centric ceremony as part of the events celebrating his upcoming inauguration might be quite shocking to his presidential predecessors — especially those who have been long-term inhabitants of the Grove Street Cemetery.

Nevertheless, he said, the “spirit and style” of the day’s celebration is “something the other 22 presidents can only be envious of.”

Immediately following Salovey’s remarks, there was a pup procession around Cross Campus, led by Susan Cahan, associate dean for the arts, who carried a mace with the image of another four-legged, if mythical, beast — the Yale.

All invited to enjoy Sunday’s inaugural activities

Members of the campus, the city, and beyond are invited to attend the inauguration celebration virtually on Sunday, Oct. 13 by watching the live broadcast on the Yale University YouTube channel, beginning at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). The ceremony will be followed by a block party on Hillhouse Avenue 3–5 p.m., to which all are invited.

Inauguration scrapbook: Yale Open House

The two-legged version of Handsome Dan communes with one of the four-legged participants.
Among the "top dogs" in attendance was Portia, the Havanese owned by Marta Elisa Moret (holding her here) and President Peter Salovey.
Remi, a therapy dog from Yale-New Haven Hospital, arrived on Cross Campus in a motorcycle sidecar, sporting googles. (Photo by Jake van Leer ’15)
Moret, Salovey, and Portia walk alongside Handsome Dan (a.k.a. Sherman) and his human, Chris Getman ’63.
Also on hand was Chester (right), the "special assistant" to Linda K. Lorimer, vice president for global and strategic initiatives, pictured here with him.
Bryce Wiatrak ’14 sang the hymn "O God, Beneath Thy Guiding Hand," a favorite of Salovey's. The work was written in 1832 by the Rev. Leonard Bacon (Class of 1820) in honor of New Haven's bicentennial. This year, the city marked its 375th anniversary.
Noting that the canine-centric celebration was a first in Yale inauguration history, Salovey told the audience that his 22 presidential predecessors might envy the "spirit and style" of the event.
After a procession around Cross Campus, the dogs and their owners gathered for a group photo.
After the opening ceremony, the Cross Campus stage was the site of a series of performances by Yale students, kicked off by the South Asian dance troup Jashan Bhangra.
There were also performances by Yale student magician Jen Kramer ’14 ...
... the a cappella group Shades ...
... the Yale Anti-Gravity Society.
... the Yale Swing & Blues dancers ...
... and coming in from the Jonathan Edwards College gateway, ...
... the Yale Precision Marching Band.
There was free food and drink.
People lined up for the opportunity to climb Harkness Tower to see the 54-bell Yale Carillon. Later in the day, the Yale Guild of Carilloneurs performed a number of Salovey's favorite songs.
Elsewhere on campus, visitors marveled at the objects created by the 3D printer at the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design in Becton Center. (Photo by Michael Marsland)
Many visitors took tours of the campus.
Some took advantage of the special discounts offered by local shops and eateries in conjunction with the event.
Still others just relaxed and enjoyed the almost-warm weather.
The Yale Peabody Museum's "¡Fiesta Latina!" celebration coincided with the Yale Open House. (Photo: Office of Public Affairs and Communications)
Like the other events that day, the museum was open to the public free of charge for the annual festival. (Photo: Office of Public Affairs and Communications)
The open house concluded with a cupcake feast for the sweeth-toothed ...
... both young and old.
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A gathering of canines from the campus and community highlighted the opening ceremony for the Oct. 12 Yale Open House, which had as its theme "Explore, Connect, Engage." Members of the public were invited to tour campus spaces normally not open to the public, as well as those always accessible to all.
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