Bulldog Madness – Athletics Season Kickoff


Post by Katie Woodruff, associate director of athletics and senior woman administrator

If you weren’t at Bulldog Madness last night, you missed out BIG TIME! It was the biggest pep rally and spirit-building opportunity we’ve had in my 12 years at UU. This is going to sound weird, but it was somewhat of an emotional moment for me. To see so many different groups on campus come together as one to support our student-athletes was great!

In addition, to see the culmination of our hard work being enjoyed by all and supported by so many students, in that moment, was so gratifying.



“It was great to see so many students come together in support of our athletic teams,” senior psychology major Kevin Morgan said. “Last night there weren’t Greeks and indies or athletes and students, we were all Bulldogs.”

Alec Beard, a junior international business major who filled in as dancing Buster, said he enjoyed seeing the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd.

The evening involved black lights, glow sticks, hyped up music, selfies and more energy than I’ve ever felt before in The Fred. We were intentionally building school spirt through a remix of the flash mob from a performance earlier in the day, introduction of a student-led cheer support team called the Fred Fanatics, a performance from the cheerleaders, some minute-to-win-it games, 10-minute scrimmages by both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and a scrimmage between faculty/staff and students.





Dr. Oliver then led a “Never Forget” cheer on the court, surrounded by all the students.

“It was really neat to see the student body come together for a fun event supporting our basketball teams,” said Jesse Dahms, a junior business management and psychology major. “The blackout was really awesome and a great way to build hype. I think we are excited and ready for this upcoming basketball season.”

What a night! Our hope and desire in athletics is to continue to build school spirit. Bulldog Madness brought different campus groups together — the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, cheerleaders, the student group Fred Fanatics, volunteers from campus organizations and classes as well as student-athletes. It takes synergy to build energy and enthusiasm. I think we are heading in the right direction, and I’m excited.





Scott Lancaster, multimedia producer, put together this short video of the events from last night:







DIY College Room Message Clipboards

Supplies set out on the floor

With new students moving in on Friday, we thought it would be helpful to share a cheap and easy DIY project for some apartment decor. Clipboards are a fun item to repurpose into wall decor, especially if you happen to have one laying around or in storage. Here is a full list of supplies that you need for this project, but you could also use paint, stickers or other decorative craft supplies to dress them up!

  • Clipboard (We used 3, just to try different designs, but 1 is fine)
  • 1 or more notepads
  • Washi tape (in Union red, of course!) We had to get ours online through Etsy.
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Blue painter’s tape
  • Chalkboard spray paint (You can also brush this on, but spraying avoids brush marks in the finished product)

Now that you’ve got your supplies, let’s get down to business. This only takes about an hour, and that’s a leisurely hour complete with trips to the kitchen for coffee and a little Instagram perusing.

Clipboards taped off using painters tape to cover areas not to be painted.

First, you want to tape off your clipboards for painting. Choose where you want the chalkboard to be and tape everything else. The one with the diagonal lines of tape is a little trickier, so we did the washi tape first on that one (not pictured). Try to press the tape down pretty well so there isn’t any bleeding. You can also use a piece of thick paper to cover a large portion, so that you don’t use as much tape, just make sure you tape the edge down.

Applying the chalkboard paint using a spray can

Spray your chalkboard paint outside or in a very well-ventilated area. We recommend finding a sidewalk and laying out cardboard or something similar to paint on. We don’t recommend spraying directly on concrete, since you can’t clean that up easily, or on grass.

Applying the washi tape

Boards shown with washi tape and chalkboard paint applied

Apply your washi take when your paint dries. Be creative with this! The one with diagonal lines was just done spontaneously, so you don’t have to follow that design exactly. You could also paint different areas if you prefer bigger sections of chalkboard. The tape at the edge of the chalkboard paint helps cover any bleeding that might have occurred (confession: we had bleeding).

Hot glue notepads to clipboards

Finally, hot glue any notepads, post-its, pockets, calendars, etc., that you want to have on your wall. The possibilities are endless! Before you write on your chalkboards, you’ll want to run some chalk over them and then erase it once. This is just a preparation step, and we know from experience that you can use a paper towel if you lose your eraser.

Applying the chalk to prepare the board
Finished message boards

And there you have it! These are perfect for leaving notes for your roommates, displaying your schedule or even some fun photos of you and your friends at a basketball game. Be sure to keep that Union school spirit alive, and let everyone know how much you love your Bulldogs!

To celebrate all of our new students coming in, we are having a room decor contest over on Pinterest. If you’re a Union student, enter this contest for a chance to win these 3 clipboards plus a $10 Barefoots card!


Buster the Bulldog Through the Years

Most people know that the Union University mascot is the bulldog, but a surprising number of people don’t know his name, Buster, or his history. In searching for past photos of Buster, we came across a March 1999 Cardinal & Cream article with some great information about our beloved Buster. The article was written by staff writer Polly Pierce and can be found in Vol. 83 No. 10 of the student newspaper.

“Buster Bulldog. Have you ever thought about where the name “Buster” came from, or even when Union became the home of the Bulldogs?

Union sports and bulldogs were united in 1920. However, from 1922 to 1925, women’s sports were named the Terriers. During this same time, the name Bullpups was given to the school’s freshman football team.

An unofficial live bulldog posing with the cheerleaders in 1967.

An unofficial live bulldog posing with the cheerleaders in 1980. 1980

In 1970, Bill Rozich started his Union career as the Bulldog baseball team’s head coach. Rozich, a former member of the Chicago White Sox, set about to improve the school’s baseball program. The Jackson Sun, the city’s local newspaper, began running a cartoon called ‘Buster Says’ in the sports section to keep fans informed of the results of games and to make special announcements about Union sports.

Buster [the cartoon featured in the paper] was created by Joe McCormick of Malesus, Tenn.. This commercial cartoonist, illustrator and free-lance artist drew Buster from March 1970 until the end of baseball season in 1971.” This indicates that Buster as we know him originated as a sports cartoon in the local newspaper. The idea came from Rozich and was brought to life by McCormick.

The article also mentions that the graduating class of 1998 gifted Union with a live bulldog to serve as the official mascot, and Todd Brady, campus minister, became his caretaker. While there were other bulldogs owned by students and Union friends, this was the first dog officially owned by the school, according to records. Buster continued to come to games and charm everyone he met through the mid-2000s. Since the original Buster’s passing, Union hasn’t had a live bulldog.

Live Buster taking in a gorgeous afternoon outdoors

The live Buster doesn't know what to think about the suit Buster in this 2000 photo.


Our live Buster the Bulldog taking in the attention outdoors


Students pet Buster on move-in day in this 2005 snapshot


One thing this article doesn’t mention is the Buster suit that many students have donned at sporting events since the early 1980s. The first photo of a Buster suit can be found in the 1981 Lest We Forget yearbook, and you can see it change significantly over the years. The original version had a basketball uniform, furry arms and legs and a gigantic head, while the next version featured an open mouth and cute little tongue. We also had a darker brown version in late 80s and early 90s, and later a grey dog.

The first photos of the Buster suit in 1981 and 1982

1981 and 1982

The suit from 1984 along with some shots from 1987.

1984 and 1987

Buster cheering for the team in this 1990 photo.


1990 Mr. Union, Steve Steiner, posing with the Buster outfit he sported.

1990, Steve Steiner

Two photos of an old Buster suit, 1991 and 1995.

1991 and 1995

Buster goofing off on roller skates in this 1994 photo.


Buster doing the YMCA in this 1997 photo.


Buster with the cheerleaders in 1994


Buster goofs off with Steven Curtis Chapman at a concert at Union.


Buster takes a break from cheering in this 2007 photo


The current suit has a distinctly “fierce” look, presumably to intimidate our opponents. Buster is much more than a cheerleader at games. You can find him mingling with the Union family at big events such as move-in day and Union Night, and he is always willing to goof around with anyone.

Buster works the crowd in the left photo and helps on Move-in Day in the right photo.

2009 and 2011

Buster gets the crowd excited during the NAIA tournament.


Buster the Bulldog leads the crowd in cheers when the NCAA logo is unveiled at Union Night, Sept. 28.


If you have photos of Buster during your years at Union, we would love to see them! Share them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and tag Union University.