Kiza III is cared for by the HCU Sled Team. The Sled Team consists of current HCU student members. Each member is responsible for all of Kiza III’s activities on and off-campus such as: walking her, bathing her, grooming her, feeding her, taking her to athletic and school events, as well as a variety of other tasks.
A Samoyed named Mingo arrived and was initially cared for by the Coreons Fraternity.
Starting in 1971, Mingo was attended by a university staff member, Virginia Crosno. Theirs was a most public love affair. They went everywhere together and he enjoyed eating cooked rice and vegetables, Melba toast, ground meat, and cottage cheese prepared by Crosno.
Mingo received the finest of medical care from volunteer veterinarians and rarely missed a major campus or athletic event. The love and attention of Virginia Crosno for Mingo became one of the great object lessons for students and staff alike to observe.
Mingo passed away on June 14, 1982. Virginia Crosno was his care-giver for 11 years. An emotional remembrance service was led by Dr. James Massey. Mingo was buried in the courtyard of the Sharp Gym where a memorial marks his grave.
In the fall of 1995, the campus was gifted with a new mascot – its first actual Husky – from Sherry ’04 and Billy ’03 Thomas.
Wakiza, name meaning “determined warrior” in the American Indian language, adapted quickly to the campus environment and enjoyed a celebrity status among students and staff. Kiza was handled by Kerry Nolen ’99, Director of Student Programming.
The passing of an era in HCU was marked by the death of the University’s mascot, Wakiza, on February 22 at the age of 10. The “determined warrior” was buried in the courtyard of Sharp Gym near another icon mascot of a bygone era, Mingo.
During its annual student orientation and registration luncheon for incoming freshmen on June 15, HCU introduced its new live mascot, a Siberian husky puppy named Kiza II.
HCU adopted Kiza II from Houston’s Husky Haven, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and helping Siberian huskies. She was born one of four puppies in a litter on January 2, 2010.
The Williams Family Foundation – Stanley and Diane ’93 Williams, their son and daughter-in-law Jay and Dena Williams, and their son-in-law and daughter Clay (MBA ’96) and Dawn Trozzo – made the adoption of Kiza possible by generously agreeing to provide ongoing support of HCU’s live mascot program in honor of Stanley and Diane’s four grandchildren.
Kiza II goes into retirement during the Homecoming season of 2017! She will be living with a loving family of HCU Alums.
Kiza III or K3PO (Kiza three point O), was introduced to the HCU community during Opening Convocation on September 6th, 2017. She captivated the audience as this young pup pranced onto the stage of Dunham Theater and fixed her eyes on the students in the first rows, with the spotlight on her alone!
Kiza III is a pure bred Siberian Husky and was bred at Counts Cove Kennels near Houston.
Westbury Animal Hospital has graciously offered Kiza III care at their facility as proud supporters of HCU and the mascot program, thanks to Dr. L.D. Eckermann and Marsha Eckermann.