Buster's arrival on campus
On September 20, 1957, film producer Michael Todd, accompanied by his wife, actress Elizabeth Taylor, visited UB to present a lecture on "The Spirit and Techniques of Showmanship." Todd, Taylor's third spouse, who died in a plane crash in 1958, also presented the team mascot, Buster the Bull, to the UB cheerleading squad's spirit committee. Buster was a seven-month-old black Angus-Irish Dexter bull calf. "Contrary to rumors," The Spectrum reported at the time, "[Buster] was not born to the palatial estate of the Mike Todds at Westport, Conn., but on a farm in Western New York."
As Buster matured, he became "ornery," according to one campus history buff, and was replaced with Buster II and a whole line of successive Busters‹all raised at the Elma, N.Y., farm of the late Chester Malach. This live male bovine tradition continued to 1970, when NCAA Division I football was discontinued at the university. It was not revived, even with football's eventual return. Today, Buster's descendants are believed to be living in the Butler, Pa., region.