October 1, 2009
Businesswoman and philanthropist Madeleine Pickens and her husband, T. Boone Pickens, on Wednesday announced "Salute to the Mustangs," an event to be held October 17 during pre-game and halftime of the SMU-Navy football game at Gerald J. Ford Stadium. At the game, Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens will present SMU with a trained rescued Mustang as a gift to the school. The Pickens are also giving another rescued Mustang to SMU.
(l. to r.) SMU Head Football Coach June Jones, philanthropists Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach and SMU President R. Gerald Turner
SMU is honored to be the setting for the October 17 “Salute to the Mustangs” at the SMU-Navy game, drawing attention to the important work of the National Wild Horse Foundation. And we deeply appreciate the donation of rescued Mustangs to SMU, where they will have a good home and represent our support of the Foundation’s commitment to the humane treatment of these proud animals. These horses will be welcomed additions to the Mustang family at SMU, joining a spirited tradition at SMU enjoyed by students, parents, alumni and other Mustang fans.
In 1917, two years after SMU opened, a student vote chose the Mustang as the athletics mascot. The black Shetland pony mascot made his first appearance at a campus pep rally in 1932. To represent Mustang spirit, the pony was named Peruna, after a popular “wonder elixir” that had quite a kick to it.
The partnership of Peruna and a Mustang at SMU is not new – in the late 1960s, both appeared on the field with a spirit group called the Squires.
The feisty energy of Peruna and the powerful presence of our new Mustangs will underscore the football team’s theme of “all grit, no quit.” Peruna represents a proud tradition, and the rescued Mustangs have shown the rugged determination to survive and thrive -- a fitting metaphor for Mustang athletics.
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