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Carrie Sweet ’93

Well one thing is for certain; the Botkin Bulldogs were not some rogue troupe of mascots looking to horn in on Bucky Badger’s territory. Nor were they distant cousins of the UW’s beloved mascot. Nope, the Bulldogs were a group of students who lived in Boktin House, located within the Tripp Residence Hall along the Lakeshore. Today, Tripp is an upperclassmen-only dorm made up of eight houses: Gregory, Bashford, Botkin, High, Vilas, Fallows, Frankenburger, and Spooner. Botkin House was named after Alexander Campbell Botkin, a politician from Dane County. And according to Dr. Dennis Maki ’62 MS’64 MD’67, who was the house’s social chairman, and lived in Botkin House all four years of his undergraduate career, back in the 1950s and 60s each house had a nickname … hence the Botkin Bulldogs. “The houses were built like an old British college,” said Maki. “We each had a coat of arms in our rooms, ours read ‘Bulldogs.’” Maki noted that his group went by the Bulldog name mainly when they played on intramural sports teams, and for fun during social events. He says that the Botkin Bulldogs gave him and his peers an identity in University Housing.

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