Yale Open House begins with a bow-wow-wow

A gathering of campus and community canines highlighted the ceremony officially kicking off the Yale Open House on Oct. 12. The day was part of the events celebrating the inauguration of Peter Salovey as Yale's 23rd president.

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:

Marta Elisa Moret and husband, President Peter Salovey, and their dog, Portia, walk with Handsome Dan (a.k.a. Sherman) and handler Chris Getman ’64. (Photo by Michael Marsland)

• 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.


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Campus & Community