One dog stole the spotlight in a fetching fit this Homecoming weekend.
Boston Terrier Pip flaunted her custom engineering jacket at Homecoming events across campus under the careful watch of owner and Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences Kevin Deluzio.
“Pip spent her homecoming in her new GPA, the engineering jacket,” Deluzio said in an interview with The Journal. “She was able to greet students and alumni on Friday night, we took her over to the lineup for students getting into Clark Hall Pub and she was just such a massive hit.”
Deluzio’s wife sewed Pip’s GPA after purchasing a second-hand leather jacket from Etsy. After weeks of making patterns and alterations, she finished it just in time for Homecoming weekend.
“We had a lot of chat about what year she would be. I was pushing for ’88 because that’s my graduation year and I have a stepson in engineering, so he was pushing for his year,” Deluzio said. “Then we decided on a one because Pip was first, and I think she won Homecoming.”
Pip’s customized jacket was decked out with a Pride heart, and as an homage to her owner, she had the Italian and Irish flags. Deluzio managed to get her a bar with his year’s slogan: “Science ’88 is still great.”
In an attempt to revive an old tradition at Queen’s, Deluzio won’t be dying Pip’s jacket purple since he’s partial to the traditional golden-coloured jacket.
“It has not had gentian on it, it will not have gentian on it,” he said. “If I had my way, I’m trying to celebrate a return to the golden jackets.”
Pip is no stranger to Queen’s events, having attended most of the engineering orientation. Pip loves people and is easygoing, making her the perfect pal for Deluzio’s packed Homecoming schedule. For Deluzio, the Engineering and Applied Science buffet breakfast was the highlight of his weekend.
“Last year, we ran it for the first time after COVID-19 and had plastic forks that were breaking, and people were so frustrated by the plastic forks. So, the second greatest highlight was the fact that we had metal forks that stood up to the materials’ demands,” Deluzio joked.
The event, which ran out of a tent five years ago, saw 600 alumni enjoying pancakes in Mitchell Hall this year. In his speech, Deluzio discussed reimagining the future of engineering education. He felt the message was well received.
“We had alumni from ’53, from ’58, that are still coming back, that sense of community is very rare and very special,” Deluzio said.
This year, Deluzio was surrounded by his classmates celebrating their 35th reunion. He was shocked by the impact Pip had, with some evidence suggesting Pip went viral across several university campuses.
“The pictures that came to me from various sources, one of my classmates came to me on Saturday morning at the breakfast, and he said, I just saw a picture of your dog sent to me from my daughter who didn’t go to Queen’s,” Deluzio said.
Amidst a stressful midterm season, Deluzio hopes Pip’s Homecoming spirit spread some joy to alumni and students alike this weekend. For Deluzio, bringing the Queen’s community together is what Homecoming is all about.
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