Sophie Higby | Contributing Writer
In 1916, the Samford University student body voted and declared the “Crimson Bulldog” as the official university mascot. Over the years, the bulldog has become one of Samford’s most recognizable symbols, undergoing various updates most recently in 2016 with the unveiling of the university’s new bulldog spirit mark.
More recently, another bulldog has been making a name for himself on campus. Over the past few weeks, Buxley, a four-month-old English Bulldog, has become a household name at Samford. Buxley may only weigh in at a mere 18 pounds but he has quickly become the biggest man on campus.
On June 23, 2021 the Kugelberg family, whose daughter, Maribella, is a sophomore at Samford, shared Buxley’s first post on Instagram.. Bill Kugleberg, Buxley’s owner, wanted him to have a “Southern gentleman’s name.”
“I don’t know where it came from,” Kugleberg chuckled, but the name fits him perfectly.
Over the next month, Buxley’s Instagram account received some attention but quickly grew after Buxley’s first trip to Samford’s campus on Aug. 2.
“We knew that we wanted to bring him around campus… We just love the campus, everyone is so friendly,” Kugleberg said.
Since Buxley’s first visit, he has returned frequently and has been quoted as loving to come to Samford.
Maribella started running Buxley’s Instagram page and posting for fun, expecting only family and close friends to follow.
“I didn’t expect strangers to follow him,” Kugleberg continued, “I think what started it was student’s reactions when they would see him.”
The account now has over 1,500 followers, and Samford students swarm to see Buxley and take a picture with him when he’s spotted on campus.
“We love that so many people like him and look for him. Students will say, ‘I miss my dog so much thanks for bringing him here,’” Kugleberg said.
Buxley’s presence brings students together from across campus.
“Buxley has the ability to bring a smile to every student’s face at Samford, and that’s why I love him. No matter what walk of life or what area of campus students are involved in, there is an immediate connection to this sweet little bulldog, so it kind of brings everyone together,” junior Sophia Tuttlebee said. “Buxley is the mascot no one knew we needed, but everyone can agree we love.”
Though Buxley is likely not concerned about any potential titles, Kugleberg noticed how much Buxley loves Samford’s official mascot, Spike, and how much students love Buxley.
“My thought was that he could be like the school’s unofficial mascot,” Kugleberg said.
Many students have themselves helped declare Buxley as Samford’s “unofficial mascot.” However, according to Kugleberg, Buxley has a meeting this week with Samford’s Vice President of Marketing, Betsy Bugg Holloway, reportedly to discuss his current and future role at the school. Samford has not had a live mascot for over a decade and students are hopeful Buxley can fill that position.
Regardless, Buxley will continue to visit Samford, and while the weather is still hot, can mainly be found meeting students in the U.C. For more updates, follow Buxley on Instagram @buxleythebulldog or Twitter @BuxleyBulldog.