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Hugfest with Scotty

Most Hugged Mascot on Campus

UC Riverside students, staff and faculty did not beat the world record. But 900 hugs in the rain is pretty close

(February 17, 2011)

Scotty Highlander gets a tight squeezeEnlarge

Scotty Highlander gets a tight squeeze

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( – UC Riverside’s mascot Scotty Highlander received 900 official hugs as he tried to break the world record for most number of hugs in one hour during a rainstorm.

Rain moved the event to the second floor of the Highlander Union Building, and a pep band, cheerleaders and athletes kept spirits high.

“We will definitely want to try this again in better weather,” said Tonantzin Oseguera, assistant dean in Student Life.

The rules governing an official world record attempt are strict, and Scotty complied perfectly. The current record is 1,201 hugs in an hour, a record held by Jeffrey Ondash and set on May 16, 2008 in Boardman, Ohio, as listed in Guinness World Records.

UCR’s homecoming celebration is Feb. 21 through 26. Events including a bonfire, a basketball game, a large concert, classes, a hike and reunions, are described online.

An umbrella was the order of the dayEnlarge

An umbrella was the order of the day

UCR student Diana Huang signs in before giving Scotty a hug along with 899 other official huggers.Enlarge

UCR student Diana Huang signs in before giving Scotty a hug along with 899 other official huggers.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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