Yes, Fox Day Is Real. And No, We Don’t Know When It Will Be.

WTF? Around Rollins, that might as well stand for What the Fox? Even better, When the Fox?

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

Arguably the College’s most beloved tradition—and with good reason—Fox Day occurs each spring on a random day the president deems “too pretty to have class.” The College basically trots out a quirky fox statue, closes shop, and sanctions a break from official undergraduate studies.

Students celebrate in a number of ways, from lawn games on The Green to trips to the beach. And, of course, it’s a rite of passage to have your picture taken on Tars Plaza with the fox himself—that sly little fellow who only emerges from his den for the occasion.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

People tend to get pretty excited in anticipation of the fox appearing, with some students camping out and holding all-night vigils. In recent years, a 24-hour Fox Day cam has even started streaming online updates.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

But Why the Fox?

It’s a long story with many twists and turns, but the quick version is that Rollins’ 10th president, Hugh McKean, instituted the first Fox Day on May 17, 1956. He took the fox statue—formerly a permanent fixture on campus—and temporarily placed it on the horseshoe, announcing that classes would be canceled. Students were treated to a treasure hunt, square dance, and picnic. 

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

But times changed, and Fox Day got the kibosh from 1969 to 1978. To everyone’s delight, however, President Thaddeus Seymour resurrected the festivities in 1979.
“Fox Day had always been an expression of family at Rollins,” Seymour says, “and it seemed important to me that we recognize and celebrate the unique family spirit of Rollins with a day of fun.”

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

Ever since, Fox Day has been here to stay. And the Rollins community wouldn’t have it any other way.

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

“Fun and family should be part of the college experience, and that’s what Fox Day is all about,” Seymour says. “It’s a reminder that work isn’t everything, and that the world doesn’t stop when you take a day for yourself.”

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

(Photo by Scott Cook) (Photo by Scott Cook)

For aspiring history majors—and those who want to wow their friends with Tars-related trivia—check out archivist Darla Moore’s How the Fox Came to Rollins.