Judge Virginia 'Ginny' Crump Becomes Newest Bear Mascot

April 4, 1996

by Colin M. Witt

WACO, Texas-From her first tentative steps on campus to a meeting with the university president, her first day at Baylor was a busy one.

Only eight weeks old, she's already made history. And she doesn't even know it.

Judge Virginia Crump, "Ginny" for short, is Baylor University's newest mascot, a cinnamon-colored North American black bear weighing eight pounds.

She is Baylor's first female mascot in at least 20 years, and the first new bear to arrive on campus since Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. took office last June.

Ginny was recently acquired from Bear Country USA, the Rapid City, S.D., firm that has supplied Baylor's mascots for more than 20 years.

She succeeds Judge R.E.B. "Bobby" Baylor, a 2-year-old bear that has been donated to an Austin zoo, according to trainer Trey Ingram, a Diboll junior. Baylor is helping the zoo build a facility for Bobby, who is named for the school's namesake.

Baylor's other bear on campus is Judge Bill Boyd, a 9-year-old who lives in the Steve Hudson Memorial Bear Plaza, Baylor's bear home. The plaza, a Class C zoo, is accredited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Texas.

Ginny will make her first public appearance Thursday, April 18, during Diadeloso, Baylor's "Day of the Bear" and a student holiday featuring recreational activities.

She was named for Mrs. Virginia Crump, a former student life administrator who retired in 1982 following 36 years of service as a Baylor employee. Crump received her bachelor's and master's degrees from Baylor and worked in several university departments before being named assistant vice president for student affairs in 1981, the position she held when she retired. During her service in student life, Baylor began allowing national fraternity and sorority chapters at the university.

Baylor got its first mascot, Joe College, in 1932. Since then, the university has had more than 75 bear mascots. The mascot is always called Judge in honor of the school's namesake, Judge Robert Emmett Bledsoe Baylor. The Baylor Chamber of Commerce, a student organization, is in charge of the bear mascot program.

For more information, call Ingram at (817) 755-3322.

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