The Fox Day Tradition

April 10, 2014 Features
In 1978, Thaddeus Seymour set the fox free after a nine year hiatus with President Critchfield.

In 1978, Thaddeus Seymour set the fox free after a nine year hiatus with President Critchfield.

It’s that time of year again. Whether or not we know which day the fox will make his appearance on the lawn, the intriguing history of this famed Rollins tradition has been set in stone since 1956.

Fox Day. The two words that every Rollins student knows and loves. The one day of the year when there is no class and no responsibilities, just one day filled with no homework and lots of fun.

In the wee hours of Fox Day 2012, excited students celebrate the beginning of the most beloved day on Rollins campus.

In the wee hours of Fox Day 2012, excited students celebrate the
beginning of the most beloved day on Rollins campus.

But Fox Day did not begin with the founding of Rollins. Rather, many years before the first Fox Day, Rollins had both a cat and a fox statue—the same fox statue we are all familiar with today. They were set on pedestals near where the pool is currently located, and only members of the Fox and Cat Societies were allowed to touch their respective statues. The Fox Society was four men, elected by the women of the campus, and the Cat Society was four women, elected by the men of the campus. In 1949, the cat statue was mysteriously smashed.

Taking photos with the fox has been a Rollins tradition for quite some time. These two women from 1983 Fox Day are no exception.

Taking photos with the fox has been a Rollins tradition for quite some time. These two women from 1983 Fox Day are no exception.

After hiding the fox statue in storage for 10 years, President Hugh McKean brought the statue out of hiding for the first Fox Day in May 1956. He placed it on the lawn, canceling classes for the day. The tradition continued for many years, until the next president, Jack Critchfield decided to do away with Fox Day. In 1976, the students were upset and created a fake fox out of clay, trying to hold their own Fox Day. After President Critchfield,

President Thaddeus Seymour revived the tradition. Originally, Fox Day activities included campus-wide events such as treasure hunts, square dancing, chapel services, and sing-alongs. Now, Fox Day events have changed to include entertainment on campus, a movie, and free meals.

Students pose at the 2013 Fox Day Picnic. The picnic brings all members of the Rollins community together to enjoy delicious cook-out fare on the lawn.

Students pose at the 2013 Fox Day Picnic. The picnic brings all members of the Rollins community together to enjoy delicious cook-out fare on the lawn.

As always, students try to predict when Fox Day will fall. Though it often seems random, there are some patterns worth noting. President Duncan has never held Fox Day on a Monday or Friday, and the latest he has proclaimed Fox Day was April 12. Under President Duncan, Fox Day has only taken place in March once, on March 29. Regardless of when Fox Day occurs this month, The Sandspur wishes you a happy and safe day of celebrating no classes, no school, and lots of fun.

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Micah Bradley

About Micah Bradley

Micah Bradley 17' is a native of Nashville and an English major at Rollins College. She has other published work with WPLN Nashville Public Radio.

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