On December 14, 1914, the students of Baylor voted to have a bear represent the University as mascot. Among the mascots nominated were buffalo, eagle, antelope, bookworm, and bear. The bear won by little more than half of the 406 votes cast. Since then more than 50 North American Black Bears have called Baylor home.
In the fall of 1917, Baylor saw the arrival of the first live mascot to campus. The 107th Engineer Battalion from Fort MacArthur donated the bear to Baylor. His name was Ted, but often was called "Bruin".
In 1974, the decision was made for the mascots to be called "Judge" followed by a surname, in honor of the mascot that served Baylor from 1961 to 1971.
The bears serve a wonderful function here at Baylor. They primarily help educate people about bears, but also serve as a symbol of the University. During their time here, they receive the best care possible. Each bear has a person that is solely responsible for it, caring for it and spending time with it. The Bear Program's Lead Team is determined by members of the Baylor Chamber of Commerce as well as Baylor Administration. The lead team is responsible for the care of the current mascot. Besides the Lead Team, there is a Bear Committee that helps with the upkeep for the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat, along with the training of the mascots. The Lead Team, along with any other Committee members that work with the bears are all professionally trained multiple time a year by a professional bear trainer, that specializes in the movie industry, and in the educational awareness of all bear species. The bears enjoy what they do here at Baylor, and we in turn respect and love them.