The real J. Denny(s) revealed


BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University mascot J. Denny Beaver is one busy beaver, as appearances at about 70 events (and counting) this academic year would attest.

J. Denny is so in demand, in fact, that it has taken three Bluffton students to perform his duties. Their identities were revealed at halftime of the men's basketball game on Feb. 13, during a "beheading" ceremony that traditionally marks the only time that college mascots remove their costume heads in public.

Introduced as this year's J. Dennys were senior Kayla Geiger of Lima, Ohio, and juniors Jamie Paye of Findlay, Ohio, and Abbey Graber of Archbold, Ohio.

Geiger, who wore the costume for the ceremony, is an English education major who works in Bluffton's admissions office and serves as a student ambassador.

Paye, a social work major, is a member of the Social Work Club and works in the business office on campus.

An intervention specialist major, Graber works in the education department and is also a student ambassador. She is the student coordinator of the campus organization SERVE and active in intramural athletics as well.

Phill Talavinia, Bluffton's athletics director, presented a Varsity B jacket and a plaque to each of the three students, who, as volunteers, are not paid for the many hours spent as J. Denny. They will continue their mascot role through the end of the academic year.

J. Denny Beaver became Bluffton's mascot in August 2010. He is named in honor of Dr. J. Denny Weaver, professor emeritus of religion and longtime faculty athletics representative at Bluffton.

The Feb. 13 ceremony also kicked off the application process for the 2013-14 J. Denny Beaver. Any interested Bluffton students can find an application online at