SMITHFIELD, R.I. (AP) — A college campus in Rhode Island is mourning the loss of its bulldog mascot that collapsed and died during a campus festival.
Bryant University President Ron Machtley announced Thursday that the 7-year-old mascot, named Ironclad Tupper I, died peacefully Wednesday night of an apparent stroke.
A posting by Tupper's caregivers on his Facebook page says he suddenly collapsed in the middle of the school's Festival of Lights.
The post by Bryant staffers Tina and Claire Senecal says Tupper "was where he loved being, doing what he loved: on campus being adored."
Machtley says Tupper was beloved as Bryant's first official mascot and was a "wonderful symbol of grit and determination" for students.
He says the university plans to immediately begin a search for Tupper's replacement, and he hopes Tupper II will bring the same sense of pride to the community.