At 6 o'clock this morning, the statue of the Rollins Fox was placed on Mills Lawn declaring today, March 29, Fox Day 2012. All classes are canceled for the day. The placement of the fox was done in tandem with ringing of the Knowles Memorial Chapel bell to alert students of the day off.
The day of relief from schoolwork will be followed by a picnic for the Rollins community on Mills Lawn this evening at 5 p.m.
On May 17, 1956, President Hugh McKean (1951-1969) started Fox Day. Since the beginning, the three-foot-high, 300-pound fox statue has been a part of this Rollins College tradition, which is held each spring, usually in ApriL. Part of the fun is that no one other than the President knows when fox day will be. This year, he chose late March.
WHEREAS, the clouds are high, and the air is soft, and turtles are lumbering out of the lades for a high purpose, and fireflies are darting tender messages on the blackboard of the night to glow worms below, and elderberry blossoms are adding lacy elegance to the woods, and the ducks are gone except our Florida mallards, and spring has come to this great state, and
WHEREAS, our soccer, golf, tennis, basketball and baseball teams and our crew have made this a year of glory, and to be remembered, and
WHEREAS, Rollins is the kind of college which can gather in this way for gentle pleasure,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, the Rollins Fox do hereby cancel all classes, meetings, seminars and other gatherings of the residential college scheduled for this day, and urge the students to spend these hours in those pursuits which strengthen friendships and banish discord and add to memories which give pleasure and urge all others in the college to do the same, remembering that college services must be maintained and office telephones guarded, and reminding all that supper will be served on the Horseshoe from six to eight or later, urging all to bring their families and reminding the students of our meeting in the Chapel at ten o¹clock this night.
And, now, a special word of greeting to our seniors, a noble class and firm in high resolve. Some of you will follow paths which lead relentlessly away. Others will return seeking talismans to banish years and bring back what is gone or never was. You will find new vistas, different sounds, eyes which glance and move away.
Then remember this. Some things do defy the years. The campus sand will be the same. The squirrels will never go. The sky will roll with the same rhythm, blue, white and blue, gray, darkness splashed with stars. And more important still, the Rollins each of you has made within himself will never change. It is forever yours. No one will tear its buildings down, or take away its friendships, its adventures, or its victories. And, also, think of this. Spring will always come, and always with it hope and that will last as long as time; and that is well.
AND, FINALLY, that quiet word of friends which heralds change and hints at feelings deep and difficult to say - farewell.
GIVEN in my lair on the thirteenth day of May, 1969.
WITNESS MY PAW AND SEAL.