INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.—The Butler University community is mourning after the death of mascot Blue II, who died Saturday due to complications from congestive heart failure.
Blue II, who was 9 years old, served as the university’s live mascot from 2004 to 2013.
Blue retired from live mascot duties on May 20. He officially handed over duties to 1-year-old Butler Blue III, also known as Trip, during a “Changing of the Collar” ceremony in Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 9. In retirement, Blue made fewer public appearances, but he continued to come to his campus office on a regular basis and post on his various social media profiles.
“Blue really galvanized the pride and tradition of having a live mascot at Butler,” said Michael Kaltenmark, Blue’s caretaker. “His daily presence on campus, online, and at everything from athletic events to black tie galas made him a living and breathing fixture of the Butler brand. He was born for the role.”
“Blue epitomized The Butler Way,” University President James M. Danko said. “Without saying a word, Blue demonstrated perfect loyalty, team spirit, and steadfast pride in representing the University to the world.
“And he always made people smile,” Danko said. “We will miss him very much.”
Shortly after his retirement in May, Blue’s health began to decline. The onset of congestive heart failure, compounded by Cushing’s’ Disease, caused further physical deterioration, and eventually led to Blue’s passing. Still, the situation did not deter Blue or the Butler faithful.
“The outpouring of support for Blue in his final days was emotionally overwhelming,” Kaltenmark said. “The circumstances were less than ideal, but the Butler community and our fans really rallied around him. Even in the end, Blue demonstrated great character and the gift to bring us all together. He will forever be remembered as a Butler legend.”
Blue’s painted portrait will be on display at Starbucks in Butler’s Atherton Union from 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4 through the weekend for community members who want to pay tribute.