The Houston Baptist University family welcomed Kiza III, the new four-legged mascot, during the first convocation of the 2017-2018 school year on September 6. The husky garnered the admiration of new fans as she began her career in service to HBU.
Whit Goodwin, associate provost for Student Life, said, “I believe that mascots are a huge part of the ethos of a university. We wanted a dog who would really represent us well and continue a strong tradition.”
Kiza III still has to learn the ropes for such an important role. There are six students on the HBU Sled Team (managed by Student Life), led by Head Musher Sarah Galena. The dog will also be trained professionally, Goodwin said.
The Williams and Trozzo family established an endowment for the care of the University mascot several years ago. Jared and Payne Trozzo have continued the program to honor the memory of their mother, Dawn Trozzo, in collaboration with their father, Clay Trozzo, MBA ’96, and grandparents, Dr. Diane, ’93, and Stanley Williams. The scholarship program supports students who serve on the Sled Team in the mascot program.
Dr. L.D. Eckermann of Westbury Animal Hospital and his wife Marsha Eckermann, ’68, are graciously providing veterinary care.
The former mascot, Kiza II, who has served the University since 2010, will now have the chance to enjoy life with a family as a “normal dog,” Goodwin said.