FAYETTEVILLE In its ongoing effort to strengthen the Razorback brand and traditions, the University of Arkansas Athletics Department in conjunction with Razorback Sports Properties has established the “Tusk Fund” to assist in the maintenance and upkeep of Arkansas’ live mascot.

Tusk currently resides on the Stokes family farm in Dardanelle, Ark., and makes a two-hour trek up to Northwest Arkansas for every Razorback football game but the establishment of the Tusk Fund could allow Arkansas’ current Razorback, Tusk II, to attend more Razorback events such as basketball, soccer, baseball and many more of Arkansas 19 intercollegiate sporting events.

“The Tusk Fund is a voluntary way for our fans throughout the state and around the country to help us support our live mascot program,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “The Razorback mascot is a powerful brand and is unique to the University of Arkansas.  Live mascot programs are a special part of Intercollegiate Athletics and we want our program to be among the best. Our live mascot is an integral part of our tradition and serves as a great source of pride for Razorbacks everywhere. I’m confident that our fans’ passion for the Razorbacks and for Tusk will result in the support needed to enhance our Tusk live mascot program.”

Contributions to the Tusk Fund may be made anywhere Tusk appears starting this weekend.  On the schedule for Tusk are the men’s and women’s basketball Red-White games on Friday night and the Razorback football game with Ole Miss on Saturday. Those unable to attend those events may make donations to the fund through the Razorback Foundation.

“We are proud to be partnering with Razorback fans to help secure the future of one of the most unique mascots in intercollegiate athletics,” Razorback Sports Properties Vice President and General Manager Ryan Gribble said. “The support raised will allow Tusk to attend more University of Arkansas athletic events, introducing Tusk and this tradition to even more fans. Razorback fans everywhere should feel proud to be a part of this unprecedented commitment”

Tusk is just one of three lineage live mascots in the Southeastern Conference joining LSU’s Mike the Tiger and Georgia’s bulldog, UGA, and one of just a handful throughout the country.  Arkansas’ first live mascot, Tusk I was selected in 1997 and served as the Razorback mascot for eight years.  Tusk II took over for his father in 2004 and remains Arkansas’ live mascot.

For more information regarding the Tusk Fund or University of Arkansas athletics please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.