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A Brief History of Rollins College Fox Day

Graphic by Trinidee Mercado

The fox is soon expected to make his annual appearance for Fox Day, leaving students in anticipation of when the day will be.

The tradition of Fox Day started on May 17, 1956, when President Hugh McKean set out a fox statue, which signified the cancellation of classes for the day. The statue, along with the statue of a cat, had been previously acquired by President Hamilton Holt in 1934. Both statues were frequently the targets of practical jokes where the statues were stolen by students, eventually resulting in the cat being destroyed in 1949. 

While Fox Day began in 1956, President McKean planned to retire the holiday in 1958. Students disagreed with this decision, leading to an agreement between McKean and students that he would grant them the day off for the newly minted Rollins Holiday, in exchange that they returned to gather for a picnic and choir performance in the evening

The holiday would be retired again in the 70’s only to be revived again in 1976 when a group of students made their own statue of a fox which they placed on the lawn and enacted a “fake” Fox Day. Fox Day would become a permanent fixture for the college campus in 1978.

Fox Day has never been on a particular day, but there are some trends. Analyzing a list of every past Fox Day shows that the most popular day for the event has been Tuesday, and the least popular day has been Friday.

Graph courtesy of Sarah Ogden

Students have made predictions for when this year’s Fox Day will be. Sofia Baker’s (’26) theory is that it will occur on April 11, as Mills Lawn is booked all day for a “private event,” the details of which are unknown.

Regardless of when Fox Day is, however, both new and returning students await in anticipation. One senior, Ava Reecher (’23), recalled that her favorite Fox Day memory was taking the party bus with her sorority last year. Freshman Bella Naples (’26) said that she’s excited about “friends, sun, and stress melting away,” while Freshman Sophia Watson (’26) said she’s looking forward to the EcoRollins trip to Blue Springs.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Ogden

Students can track the fox’s movement by watching the Fox Cam, which provides a view of the spot where the fox will appear when Fox Day arrives.

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