Published on March 10, 2015  

On Monday March 9, the annual Rascal Day celebrations were held at Cumberland. Rascal Day honors the memory of Rascal, the only recipient of the Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence degree.  The annual event encourages students, faculty, staff, and friends of the law school to bring their dogs to campus for a parade and lunch.  Dogs may also sit in on classes throughout the day.

According to Cumberland tradition, Rascal was a mongrel pup who faithfully attended classes at the law school’s former home in  Lebanon, Tennessee, beginning in 1933, and in 1937 he was presented the rare degree of Doctor of Canine Jurisprudence. Rascal passed away in 1940 and was buried with much ceremony beneath the window where he attended classes.  When Cumberland moved to Birmingham in 1961, Rascal’s tombstone and a few spadefuls of dirt were brought to the Samford Campus, and again interred at Blackacre, on the west side of Robinson Hall.

During the Memorial Procession, approximately 50 dogs and their owners marched behind a saxophonist from the foot of Samford’s Centennial Walk to Robinson Hall. University President Dr. Andrew Westmoreland, his wife Dr. Jeanna Westmoreland and their two Corgis lead the parade.  Professor Belle Stoddard, dressed as Cruella De Vil, threw stuffed Dalmatians to bystanders during the parade.  After a brief eulogy delivered by Professor Howard Walthall, participants and their pets enjoyed a hotdog lunch and cake.