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News Release

UAlbany Casts its Vote for Baby Dane Mascot
"Lil' D" Joins Damien Courtside at Big Purple Growl

Contact: Karl Luntta (518) 437-4980

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 7, 2004) -- The University at Albany today announced the name of its new "baby" Dane mascot: "Lil' D."

The baby Dane joined Damien, the Great Dane mascot, this fall at University games and other functions, but didn't have a name. Soon after, the University launched a contest allowing students, faculty, staff and alumni to name the diminutive Dane. The winning name was announced during pre-game activities at the University's annual basketball bash, the Big Purple Growl.

In the months leading to the final vote, more than 100 name suggestions were submitted, which were whittled down to the six choices put to a vote: Chance, D.J., Lil' D, Scooter, Scrappy, and Spirit. Lil' D, submitted by senior Comfort E. Ebhuoma, received a third of the nearly 400 votes cast.

The Great Dane was first chosen by the student body to replace the "Pedwin, which had been the mascot of the New York State College for Teachers, the precursor of the University at Albany. The Great Dane, nicknamed Damien, was chosen for its qualities of strength, speed and stamina, and its selection was a reflection of major transformations under way at the University at that time. When UAlbany made the move to Division I athletics in 1999, art student Brian Caverly sculpted the larger-than-life Great Dane, which is now on display in the lobby of the University's main sports complex, the Recreation and Convocation Center (RACC). The bronze sculpture was a gift to the University from the Class of 1999.

The naming of Lil' D is part of UAlbany's effort to boost spirit and attendance at campus events. Last fall the University offered incentives to students in its Go2!Events campaign. UAlbany's first pep band to include students, faculty, alums and members of the community, officially debuted at the Big Purple Growl, and Lil' D will join Damien as a spirit builder for Great Dane athletic and other campus events.

For photos of the UAlbany mascots, visit

The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in nine degree-granting schools and colleges. The University has launched a $500 million fundraising campaign, the most ambitious in its history, with the goal of placing it among the nation's top 30 public research universities by the end of the decade. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit