Drake University Mascot 'Griff' set to Retire

Feb 10, 2020

After announcing last week that Drake University’s beloved live mascot Griff plans to retire, the University introduced its next live mascot, and Griff’s successor, Griff II.

University officials said the one-year-old English bulldog will take over full-time mascot duties on July 1, filling the paws of Griff I who is set to retire June 30.

“We are proud to continue the tradition of our live mascot program and welcome Griff II to the Drake community,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “I am confident that he will spark even greater school spirit and help bring us all closer together, just as Griff has done for years.”

Griff II was born in July 2018 and comes to Drake from a caring family in Wisconsin. Griff II has been living quietly with the family of Erin Bell, associate director of marketing and manager of the live mascot program, since November 2019.

“He's got a big personality that will represent Drake University well,” said Bell. “He is everything we were looking for in finding the best possible successor.”

Griff II will assume all live mascot duties for the University starting July 1. Plans for an inauguration will include a changing of the harness ceremony in August, marking the official handoff of responsibilities from Griff I to Griff II.