Madeleine Pickens' gift of two real mustangs raised worries among students that Shetland pony Peruna would be put out to pasture.
The philanthropist who donated two mustangs to Southern Methodist University says she didn't intend for them to replace the current mascot.
"Oh no," she said. "He's too cute. How could you replace Peruna?"
Pickens, the founder of the National Wild Horse Foundation, said the university asked her for an actual Mustang.
"Because they are the Mustangs, and they did want a Mustang," she said. "They came to me, I didn't go to them -- SMU asked me to find them a Mustang."
But Pickens' gift raised worries among students that Peruna would be put out to pasture.
"Peruna is the face of SMU," student Liz O'Neill said. "They can't take Peruna away."
The SMU student senate passed a resolution designating Peruna the "official mascot" in support of the pony.
And SMU's athletic director says Peruna isn't going away anytime soon.
"The feisty energy of Peruna and the powerful presence of our new mustangs will underscore the football team's theme of 'all grit, no quit,'" Steve Orsini said.