Pete squared: YSU superfan meets mascot

Pete Julian, a 91-year-old graduate from YSU who's attended a lot of football games, got to meet Pete the Penguin Monday with help from Student Government Association. Photo by Kelcey Norris/The Jambar

By Kelcey Norris

Pete Julian attended every Youngstown State University football game from his freshman year until he was 80 years old. The first question the YSU graduate asked Pete and the entourage: how’s the football team doing this year? 

Julian, now 91 years old, lives at the Ohio Living Long Term Care Facility in Cortland. He had a surprise visitor Monday afternoon and was visibly excited to see Pete the Penguin waddle through the gate. 

Even though he was already sporting his YSU baseball cap and hoodie, Julian also got a few new signature items, including a YSU beanie and fanny pack.

Julian graduated sometime in the 1950s — he couldn’t quite remember that exact date for us — after studying social sciences and business. He was a founding member of the still-active fraternity Alpha Phi Delta. 

When he graduated, it was still called Youngstown College, according to Danielle Olson, a caregiver at the long-term care facility. 

“This [visit] meant so much to him,” Olson said. “Pete’s been going through hard times with his health, but this really, really cheered him up.” 

Justin Shaughnessy, executive president of Student Government Association, and Kati Hartwig, coordinator of social media and digital marketing, coordinated the surprise visit from Pete the Penguin. 

Catch Pete the Penguin at the next home football game, where YSU will host Southern Illinois State University at 12:00 p.m. March 6.