What is a Hoya?
Many years ago, when all Georgetown students were required to study Greek and Latin, the University's teams were nicknamed "The Stonewalls." It is suggested that a student, using Greek and Latin terms, started the cheer "Hoya Saxa!", which translates into "What Rocks!" The name proved popular and the term "Hoyas" was eventually adopted for all Georgetown teams.
This is Jack the Bulldog. Jack is our mascot. Georgetown has had a number of mascots in its more than 200-year existence. Among the earliest mascots was a terrier named Stubby, whose name is largely unfamiliar today but was perhaps the most famous dog of his generation. The dog served 18 months on the front with his regiment in World War I, saving his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks, locating wounded soldiers, and even catching a German spy by the seat of his pants. Such exploits made the front page of newspapers back home, and after Stubby's last battle at Chateau-Thierry, France, he was outfitted with a blanket with the medals and honors awarded him for bravery, with flags of all the Allied Nations of the war.
Following Stubby, a terrier named, appropriately, "Hoya," became a fan favorite. Hoya belonged to Rev. Vincent McDonough, S.J., Moderator of Athletics and namesake of McDonough Gymnasium. This terrier was frequently seen at Georgetown football games in the 1920's and 1930's. A Great Dane named "Butch" became the team's unofficial mascot during the 1940's, but as Georgetown suspended football in 1951, the tradition of live mascots ended. Years later, the name of "Jack" and the breed of English Bulldog was formally adopted in 1962, adding the blue and gray cap once worn by freshmen onto its emblem.
Students maintained pet bulldogs as mascots into the early 1970's. By 1979, Georgetown was one of the first schools to employ a "human mascot," a student in the now familiar blue and gray bulldog suit. "Jack" now appears at major athletic and social events, and is among the most recognizable college mascots in the nation.