Mascots revealed


2023-24 J Denny and Jenny Beaver performers

2023-24 Beavers: Zach Boch, Noah Heiing, Karley Ramirez, Angel Velasco Urbina, Emma Schutz and Hayley Lewis

And The Real J Denny and Jenny Are...

Throughout the year, Bluffton University’s mascots, J Denny and Jenny Beaver, greet new students at admissions events, cheer teams on at games and increase campus spirit all while keeping their identities secret. Six students were revealed and joined the revered ranks of Beaver mascot alumni during the Feb. 16 basketball doubleheader against Defiance College.

Zach Boch ’24 
Zach BochBeing J Denny Beaver allowed Zach Boch, a communication and media major from Lancaster, Ohio, to step outside of his shell, boost his confidence and make new friends including his Beaver mascot siblings.

Boch served as the Beaver at events including Freshmen Olympics, Flag City Night Out Mascot Olympics and Homecoming. While fun, he admits being a Bluffton mascot is not for the faint of heart since there is a lot of secrecy involved before the reveal.

“I had to plan ahead of time a lot. For the Freshmen Olympics, I pretended to drive out to Lima,” said Boch. “I told everyone my car broke down, and I had to wait two hours for AAA.”  

On campus, he’s a member of the cross country and track and field teams and the founder of the Rock, Paper, Scissors club. 

Noah Heiing ’24
Noah HeiingNoah Heiing, a communication and media major from Delphos, Ohio, served as J Denny Beaver at events ranging from Finals Breakfast to High-Five Fridays.

On campus, he’s a President’s Ambassador and Student Senate President so he had to be extra creative with excuses for why he was missing certain events even though he was actually there in disguise! 

Heiing said it was an honor being the symbol of Bluffton and enjoyed bonding with the five other students who served as J Denny and Jenny throughout the year.

“It was a diverse group, but we came together even though we were working with people outside of our normal friend groups,” explained Heiing. “Getting to know them and working with them secretly was really fun.” 

Hayley Lewis ’25
Hayley LewisBeing within the correct height ranges for both Beaver suits, Hayley Lewis, a communication and media and marketing double major from Kettering, Ohio, served as both J. Denny and Jenny Beaver throughout the year. 

She enjoyed hanging out with classmates from the Beaver point of view but was ready for the big reveal. 

“It’s what I was excited for the most this whole season,” said Lewis. “When I first saw the Beaver Reveal my freshman year I was like that seems like a really cool event to be part of, so I’m glad I was able to be part of it this year and not just watching it.” 

Lewis was in the suit at several volleyball and football games as well as Freshmen Olympics. Her campus involvement includes playing softball and being a member of Student Athlete Advisory Council.

Karley Ramirez ’25
Karley RamirezKarley Ramirez, a P-5 primary education major from Archbold, Ohio, not only won the bronze medal during Flag City Night Out Mascot Olympics by doing the splits as Jenny Beaver, she also donned an elf hat to perform in the Beaver Christmas video. 

“Not many people get the opportunity to do this,” said Ramirez. “My favorite part was interacting with the crowds and doing the big events like Dam Jam and Riley Creek Festival.”

She admits keeping the secret was difficult because she often had to choose between going to sporting events as herself or as Jenny Beaver. 

In addition to being a Beaver, Ramirez plays soccer and is a member of Multicultural Student Organization, President’s Ambassadors and Bluffton Education Organization. 

Emma Schutz ’25
Emma SchutzEmma Schutz, a communication and media major from Bluffton, Ohio, describes herself as shy, but said being Jenny Beaver encouraged her to embrace her outgoing side. 

However, the part of being a mascot she most enjoyed was supporting Bluffton’s various teams and student-athletes. 

She served as Jenny Beaver at Homecoming and Finals Breakfast. Outside of being a mascot, Schutz is a resident advisor and involved in Multicultural Student Organization and Hall Association. 

“You think you know so many people on campus, but when I was Jenny, I saw so many new faces that became familiar,” said Schutz. 

Schutz relied on her sister, Caroline, a hall director on campus, to serve as an alibi when she was working events as Jenny. 

Angel Velasco Urbina ’26
Angel VelascoAngel Velasco Urbina, an exercise science major from Lexington, Ky., shared that a mishap with a bandana falling over his eyes caused him to lose sight during his audition. That incident didn’t hold him back, though, and he said being J. Denny Beaver allowed him to go all out. He was in the J. Denny suit for events including Dam Jam and Soul Food Night and was “J. Buddy” Beaver in the “Elf” Christmas video spoof. 

Velasco Urbina most enjoyed, “interacting with our Bluffton students and knowing what’s going on on campus and getting to know everyone and being able to implement that as the Beaver.” 

In addition to being a Beaver, Velasco Urbina is a member of the men’s soccer team, a President’s Ambassador and a resident advisor.

The reveal kicked off the application process for the next round of Beavers to be selected for the 2024-25 academic year. 

J. Denny came on the scene in fall 2010 to honor Dr. J. Denny Weaver, professor emeritus of religion and longtime faculty athletics representative at Bluffton. Jenny was introduced in fall 2014 to help J Denny spread campus cheer. Since their introductions, just 50 students have served as J Denny or Jenny Beaver.