April 13, 2006

Poodle Extraordinaire: the Jacques-Pierre Collection

Jacques Pierre

The Jacques-Pierre Collection honors the life of Goucher College's Poodle Extraordinaire, Jacques-Pierre (1984-2001), a gregarious black toy poodle who resided with Goucher Dance Professor Chrystelle Trump Bond.  The fund, established for the purchase of books by and about dogs, was started in 2001 with a gift from Professor Bond and several gifts given in his memory. There are currently over 100 titles in the collection.

Professor Bond, who has been teaching at Goucher since 1963, has been a major contributor to the foundation of the Goucher Dance Department.  As a dance historian and reconstructor of historic dance, she is the founder of Chorégraphie Antique, the Dance History Ensemble of Goucher College.  She and Jacques-Pierre could often be seen walking about campus, greeting students as they passed.  His friendly nature made him a great favorite on campus and in 1987 he was awarded the Get into Goucher (GIG) Golden Leash Award by the House Council for his gregarious and loving nature.

Jacques-Pierre was a significant force in obtaining the funding for the Todd Dance Studio.  He first met Goucher Alumna and Trustee Elizabeth Conolly Todd (1921) in the fall of 1984 when President Rhoda Dorsey arranged a meeting between Mrs. Todd, a great appreciator of dance, and Professor Bond. Jacques-Pierre came along. Mrs. Todd, whose own black toy poodle had recently died, scooped him up in her arms and was awarded with an abundance of puppy kisses. That night Professor Bond received a phone call notifying her that Mrs. Todd planned to give Goucher College $250,000 to build the new dance studio.  The State of Maryland then provided a matching grant.

Jacques-Pierre performed with the Dance Department, appearing in Hush Puppies, a modern dance piece choreographed by Goucher Dance Professor Amanda Woodson and performed at the Fall Dance Concert in 1992. The scene consisted of a group of dancers who had one foot sporting a high heel and the other foot bare.  Jacques-Pierre wore green legwarmers and was led on stage by a dancer with a green shoe.  He appeared to enjoy performing immensely, basking in the lights and the audience.  It was noted that he had a very good sense of timing.

Jacques-Pierre inspired the foundation of the Blessing of the Animals at Goucher, an annual event in which members of the community bring their animals to be blessed by the resident Goucher Chaplin.

Another annual event began in 1985 when Jacques-Pierre celebrated his first birthday with a party attended by various dog friends and members of the faculty. Professor Bond recalled that "what started out as a joke became an annual campus ritual going on for 17 years."

After his death on April 11, 2001, a memorial service for him was held in the Goucher Chapel.   Later, the Jacques-Pierre Collection was established and a memorial tree was planted in front of the Todd Dance Studio.

Media Contact
Nancy Magnuson
College Librarian